Speed the key for NE

By Michael Morrissey (Armidale Express, 10/08/2007)
The New England Nomads will look for their speed down the flanks to give them the edge over Gunnedah in tomorrow’s clash against the Bulldogs at Bellevue Oval.

In what will be one of the last home games of the year for New England, the Nomads are hoping to snare an all-important victory in the lead-up to the finals.

New England walked away with a messy win over Narrabri last Saturday after being forced to play the Eagles’ preferred style of football.

This time speed will be the answer as they call upon the youthful exuberance of Caleb Dobos, Jay Dunlop and Kendall Laing.

“When we use those guys and move the ball quickly then it’s pretty hard to catch us,” Nomads coach Adrian Walsh said.

“What I’m hoping for is those guys will do what they did when we played Muswellbrook and run the ball quickly and get it into the forward line quickly.”

The Nomads fell into the trap of trying to match the physicality of the larger Eagles last round and want to try and avoid that at Bellevue.

“We just didn’t use our legs as much as we should have,” Walsh said.

“We were getting the ball in the forward line but not having as many options as I would have liked.

“When we play down the corridaor and play stop-start football, we’re not big enough to compete and Gunnedah again are a bigger side than us.”

The Nomads will be bolstered by the return of James Downey who has proved to be a vital weapon for New England in front of the goal.

“He’ll give us a few more options up forward. He’s a very good footballer,” Walsh said.

However Walsh will be wary of Gunnedah starting the match and knows the Nomads need to perform to get the win.

“You never know with them and it doesn’t even depend on what players they’ve got. They’re just up and down.

“It should be a good game of footy. Gunnedah never give in.

“I’m hoping that we’ll get the opportunity to start playing the type of football we want ahead of the finals.”

In other matches the Muswellbrook Cats play the Tamworth Swans and the Inverell Saints take on the Kangaroos in the match of the round. Narrabri have the bye.

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