Positive signs for Nomads

By Peter Barrett (Armidale Express, 30/03/2009)
The New England Nomads showed enough in their first hit-out of the season to suggest they can be a force in the Tamworth Australian Football League (TAFL) this season.

The Nomads played three games as they hosted the annual Tablelands Cup pre-season competition, recording wins over the Tamworth Swans and Nambucca Heads and going down to Sawtell.

Sawtell went on to easily beat the Gunnedah Bulldogs in the cup final, confirming the Nomads form.

Coach Brendan Meehan was pleased with the performance over the three games, particularly the efforts of a number of newcomers to the club.

“We had about 25 players on deck for the day, and only about four of those were university students, so we’re looking really good for this season,” he said.

“We don’t even know the names of some of the new guys, but they will be handy recruits.

“One of them is a South African who has never played the game before, but he’s tall and looks a ready-made ruckman.”

The Nomads’ leading goal kicker last season, Weston Whitby, was in good touch up front, while on-baller Matthew Maxwell showed some good touches.

Hamish Pearce did well in the centre, and Nick Schultz was strong at the back.

The Nomads now have to wait five weeks until the TAFL opening round on May 2.

But Meehan said the time would be spent wisely, working on the strengths and weaknesses identified in Saturday’s games.

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