Nomads shape up for Tablelands Cup

From the Armidale Independent, 22/03/2006
The New England Nomads' Michael Constance, Tom Hunt and Gus McKenzie in training for the National Buildplan Group "Tablelands Cup"

The New England Nomads are shaping up and putting the finishing pieces into place for the return of the National Buildplan Group “Tablelands Cup” on April 1.

After a brief hiatus last year, the Tablelands Cup is back offering prize money of $500 to the winner. Hosts of the carnival, New England Nomads, will be welcoming the Inverell Saints, Tamworth Kangaroos and the Tamworth Swans of the local league, along with North Coast teams Port Macquarie Magpies and Nambucca Heads Lions.

The Cup is only open for six teams, so each team gets adequate play time, and invitations are sent to clubs in the North Coast and Tamworth Australian Football Leagues. The pre-season timing and different clubs attending mean it is a perfect way to warm up and test a team’s mettle before regular competition begins. Local players will be facing stiff competition from the coastal lads and according to Coordinator of the Cup, Ben Page, the coastal teams are really keen to get some action.

“We’ve had an enormous response this year,” he said.

“They’re chomping at the bit to get over here and they are quite strong football clubs. They’ll probably give us a fair hiding.”

For the Nomads, the Cup is a chance to see how a relatively young and new team take up the challenge.

“We’re looking at it as an opportunity to have a look at the guys we’ve got and see how they’ll stack up this year,” Page said.

Most of the TAFL clubs are in the same situation, with new players filling up the ranks making the coastal clubs hard to beat.

The Cup is always a crowd pleaser and a full canteen and bar will be open on the day.

The Tablelands Cup will be held on Saturday, April 1 at the Bellevue Oval. The first game kicks off at 9am with the Grand Final starting at 3.30pm. Presentation/BBQ will follow at the Wicklow Hotel the final game.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Independent.

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