Nomads gear up for new Aussie rules season

From the Armidale Independent, 08/03/2006.

There are changes all round in Australian Rules Football, with the departure of the Nomads’ Jonathon Sargeant.

Adrian Walsh has taken over the coaching reins from Sargeant who had held the positions of president, captain and coach since 1999 until his departure late last year. Walsh has played with the side since 2002 and is excited about rebuilding the side. The positions have now been shared, with the club encouraging younger members to take on some responsibility.

The regional football competition has been growing, with seven sides in the line-up, opposed to five in 2004, and new rules designed to speed up games. This year an extra level of competition has also been added, with both A grade and Reserves being played.

According to Walsh, this will be a good opportunity for those who have been previously stuck on the sidelines to get an opportunity to practise and show their skills.

In the past the Nomads have been able to combine experienced players from Victoria with locals, who have been giving the Southerners a run for their money with some of the Nomads’ best players coming from other football codes and transferring their skills easily.

As the other sides in the competition built their player strength over a number of years, the Nomads have the disadvantage of being a transient group, made up of a lot of university players and the challenge for the Nomads is to meld the group into a genuine team who play with common purpose. This is more important now as the league becomes more ‘professional’.

For Walsh the direction is to see the Nomads playing a smarter, harder style of football and he is concentrating on team work within training sessions.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Independent.

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