Holiday strain for Nomads

By Matt McLennan (Armidale Express, 09/04/2008)
The New England Nomads kick off their 2008 TAFL season this weekend, and the first three rounds are looking tough for them.

They will face the other three finalists from last season in the first three rounds, all within the university holidays.

First up is a home game against the Tamworth Roos.

The Roos were the runners up in the grand final last season, and came close to beating the eventual champions the Inverell Saints.

However Nomads skipper Glen Northway said the side will be taking some confidence into the match, after winning the Tablelands Cup pre-season competition in Armidale.

“The Tablelands Cup went off really well, it was the first time the club has ever won it,” he said.

“We have hosted the cup on and off for about the last 10 years, and this year was the first year we actually won our own pre-season competition.

“We had quite a few players turn up from the university, they put on a good show.”

The highlight of the competition was the Nomads defeat of Inverell, who proved to be formidable opposition last season.

“They went through last season undefeated and we managed to knock them off by a couple of goals, which is a good sign of things to come for the rest of the season.”

Northway said the regular players in the side have been busy recruiting some ‘ring ins’ to cover for the missing players during the university holidays.

“The first three rounds this year might be a little nasty, with a lot of the students away on holidays. We certainly will be down on our strength,” he said.

“But I think there are enough players around to get 18 on the park, and hopefully be a bit competitive.”

Northway said player numbers are looking good, once the students return from their holidays.

“We were quite concerned early on about all the players that have disappeared from last season, but the numbers have been promising.”

Northway had no doubt his side would be at the right end of the table at the pointy end of the season.

“I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t make the finals this year,” he said.

The club is urging anyone interested in having a kick for them this season to come along to Tuesday and Thursday training sessions at Bellevue Oval.

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