New era Nomads are off and running

By Denis Chellingsworth (Armidale Express, 23/01/2006)

The New England Nomads have begun their bid to regain top dog status in Tamworth Australian Football League.

The club also entered a new era without guiding light of the past seven years Jonathan Sargeant at the helm.

The Nomads failed to reach the semi-finals of last year’s competition, in a rebuilding year after dominating in previous seasons.

The club had their first training run of the year last week, and attracted about a dozen players under theguidance of new co-coaches Adrian Walsh and Brendan Nolan.

Walsh was happy with the roll-up and fitness levels of the players.

“I expected fitness levels would drop off in the off-season, but that was not the case. I was impressed with how fit everyone was,” he said.

“The club wants to establish a solid core of players before the season starts to generate momentum before the students return and come looking for games.

“One of our biggest problems last year was a lack of on-field communication, probably because there were a lot of new players and the senior blokes were forced to play out of position.

“Starting training early will allow the team nucleus to begin working and talking on the field.”

Walsh said the loss of Sargeant, who has moved to a senior administration position at Bond University on the Gold Coast, would be felt.

“He’s left a big hole to fill. He was club president, coach, captain and one of the best players in the competition.

“There were concerns about what would happen when he left, but those fears have not eventuated.

“The senior members put their hands up and filed positions and things are generally looking good.

“We’re expecting a lot of interest from new students and thosewho turned out for the first time last year.

“we hope to field a reserve grade side in the expanded TAFL, but I don’t think we’ll get an under-16 team together.

“The reserve grade comp is a great opportunity for freinge players and people who haven’t played before to get a game.”

The club trains at Bellevue Oval on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.30pm.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express.

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