Nomads prepare for Swans

New England aim for victory in TAFL grand final replay against Tamworth
By Michael Morrisey (Armidale Express, 20/04/2007)
After annihilating the Narrabri Eagles by 185 points last Saturday, the New England Nomads will be in for a tougher affair when they play the Tamworth Swans at Bellevue tomorrow.

The reigning premiers went down in their first Tamworth Australian Football League (TAFL) match against the Inverell Saints and will be keen to make amends.

However according to Nomad representative Ben Page, the New England squad is hungry for more victories after getting a taste in round one.

“The confidence and level of enthusiasm among the Nomads is obviously pretty high after such a comprehensive victory,” he said.

“We’re under no illusions as to how we’re sitting at this stage.

“This weekend will be a totally different kettle of fish.

“The Swans are a pretty good outfit and they’ll be smarting from a first up loss last week to Inverell.

“We’re expecting them to come up here all guns blazing.

“It’s going to be a bit better test to see where we are at present.”

The Nomads found a new star in Mark Handley against the Eagles with the tennis coach turned full forward kicking 17 goals.

And while Handley more than impressed last Saturday in his first outing with the club, Page does not expect him to kick 17 goals again anytime soon.

“Mark’s going to be a pretty important player for us this year given his level of experience and the quality of the level of footy he’s played at,” he said.

“This week he’ll be against a higher quality opposition.

“Both the club and Mark are under no illusions.

“We won’t be expecting him to go out there and kick 17 every week, but he’s certainly going to be a focal point for us throughout the season.”

Handley is also the only injury worry for the Nomads, although Page expects him to be right for tomorrow’s game.

“Mark has a bit of a hamstring niggle,” he said.

“We’re expecting him to be right to play.

“Everyone else came through the game unscathed.”

Once again the Nomads won’t be at full strength, however more players will be available than last weekend.

“Yet again we’re down on numbers because the university doesn’t go back until next weekend,” Page said.

“We do expect to have another handful of players back, but we’ll still be down.

“We’ve got the Auskick on beforehand with the junior Nomads.

“So it’s our first home game for the season and first day for the juniors as well.”

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