Nomads perform the Old Back-to-Back-to-Back Trick

When the well-known Aussie Rules enthusiast Lewis Carroll noted that anything you say three times is true, he neglected to mention that any team that wins the flag three times in a row is truly amazing. This is exactly what the Nomads have done with their successful defence of the TAFL premiership on Saturday, beating the Inverell Saints 13.7.85 to 6.9.45. In a game that was shortened due to injury, the Nomads impressed with their run, tackling and systematic use of the ball. Best on ground was Dave ‘Rampaging’ Richards who added another 8 majors to his tally to finish with 76 goals for the year. Celebrations with beers, spirits and the obligatory text-books went well into the night.

The local weather was kind to the Nomads for a change with a warm spring day encouraging lots of New Englanders to arrive at the Bellevue for the kick-off at 2.10. There were a number of supporters from far-off regions, most notably ‘Mr Everywhere’ Matt Foley’s family (John, Angela and Shaun) who had driven from downtown Grong Grong, the Wells (Gary, Emma and Eliza) who had driven from the Central Coast and (miraculously) the Graham mob (David, Robin, Linda and Robert) who had driven from Western Australia to see their boys perform.

Formalities started with the National Anthem and the traditional coin toss. The latter was undertaken by the Vice Chancellor of UNE, Professor Annabelle Duncan who took to the event like a duck to water. The Nomads’ skipper Weston Whitby won the toss and elected to kick to the Uralla End.

There was one change to the selected team from Thursday night. Matty ‘Torrie-Time’ Woodward had unfortunately not been able to get his torn hamstring right and so withdrew to be replaced by Matt Folpp.

The Nomads started slowly. Perhaps it was nerves in front of the large home crowd but the tackles weren’t sticking and many of the kicks weren’t hitting their targets. The Nomads seemed a little lethargic while the Saints were doing well right across the park. The Saints kicked the first few goals to be up for the whole quarter. Accurate kicking by Modra in this quarter kept the Nomads in the Hunt. Matt Foley and Freundy were hitting the ball hard in the middle but things didn’t seem to be clicking generally. Tom Hunt was dominant across the half-back line and took a number of courageous marks running backwards with the ball in flight. At the first change the Saints were up by five points, although it could have been more if the Saints had kicked straight. It was clear the Nomads were in for a hard day in the park.

In the second quarter the Nomads kicked to the Grandstand End and immediately started to fire. The back line of Rowdy, Gleeso, Frosty and Sol Hanks were impenetrable. Sol Hanks, in particular, was causing the Saints forwards headaches with his close checking. Up forward Tony Dickson, Weston and Zac-the-Coach were providing plenty of options for the midfielders with Zac taking some strong grabs. In the middle Zac Wells was hitting the packs hard and getting lots of hard balls, pestering the Saints’ midfielders. On the wings, Mark E. Spencer, Zac Wells and Our Man Wulu Hall were making great use of the space and taking advantage of any switches. Towards the middle of the quarter Isaiah Graham combined with his cousin, to set the D-Mod up with a difficult shot from the pocket, before doing things on his own and kicking two fantastic goals from the arc which clearly demoralised the Saints. The flood gates seemed to open at this point and the Nomads suddenly had winners right across the park. One memorable moment saw Frosty flying down the far wing bouncing the ball a number of times, and then launching it forward. The Nomads kicked five goals for the quarter and at halftime the scores were 8.3.51 to 4.7.31.

The third quarter saw the Nomads continue their dominance right across the park. Matt Foley was in brilliant form during this period, garnering kicks seemingly at will. The Katman, Jon Freund was at his destructive best (even bouncing the ball a couple of times) and Ompsy was winning every ruck contest banging the ball forward to the Nomads advantage. Folppy-with-the-Double-P was leading well, while the Galloping Gall, Gazza Garraud was taking some strong overhead marks. The Whippersnapper, Cameron Graham, was getting plenty of the ball on the flanks and showing his opponents how quick he can run when not doing backflips. Chux was running around eluding tackles and looking like he was having fun out there, getting plenty of disposals. Modra was on fire up forward, winning marking contests against people a good ten inches taller than him.

Towards the end of the quarter the Nomads were 40 points up, 13.7.85 to 6.9.45.

Unfortunately, this was where the scores stayed. Right on the three quarter time siren a clash occurred in the play and a Saints player was injured. A brawl then broke out. The injured player required ambulance assistance and because of the length of time it took to ensure the player was safely moved into the ambulance, the game was abandoned (much to Modra’s chagrin).

The Presentation ceremony then went ahead with the Graham Nuttall medal for best on ground going to the Rampaging One and the oddly named Golden Fist Award for best defender going to the ever-reliable Tommy Granleese. It was a fitting end to a very good season on the part of the boys in green.

Since this is the end of the year it is appropriate once again to thank some people who made it all possible.

First of all to Brendan Meehan who is tireless in the work he does for us, from setting up tents to organising meat for the BBQ to being there at the end when everything has to be cleaned up. Nothing is too much trouble for him

To Hughie Cook who was MC on Saturday and treated us to his own brand of Walchan neo-surfie humour (and the PA)….’anyone want to buy a steak sandwich? It cuts slices and dices”. Nick Sanders for all of the work he did as game day manager and generally during the year. Nick is new to the club but has already taken on a pile of work which is much appreciated. We look forward to seeing him out in the centre next year.

The Knuckey family for their work on the canteen throughout the year – a big thank you.

The goal umpires, Brian Simpson, Gus Barker and Milton the time-keeper. They are there every week and provide a very reliable and invaluable service.

Brendan Nolan for all of his wise counsel.

Also to Dave Bioletti for his own unique brand of help. It is worth noting he manned the BBQ every Thursday night without fail as well as providing us with plenty of esoteric laughs – sometimes the jokes were so abstract we weren’t sure if we were laughing or we were imagining we were laughing.

To all the boys who played during the year and missed out on the Grand Final team—including Ryan Davies, Clarrie Barker, Skuu, Dan Davies, John Shirley, Matt Shirley and Nick Sanders— thank you. It is a cliche but it couldn’t have happened without you. Clarrie and Ryan, both 15 year olds, in particular are the future of the team and we look forward to seeing them on the big stage.

To Tom Granleese for his work as Treasurer and his wise advice generally on the selection committee and on a whole range of matters. Tom has been a very big part of our on-going success.

To the Skipper Weston Whitby who led the team with distinction and was always calm and collected no matter what pressure he was under. He had a wonderful year despite always receiving lots of attention.

Finally to Zac Economou for all of the work he did, through all of those hard winter nights and frantic fridays trying to ensure we had a team when injuries and other events meant we might be short. A great year. And while we are at it, thanks to Karlie Little, Zac’s cheery and ever-helpful fiancé……she only missed one game all year and was always there to help out with the little things that arise. It couldn’t have happened without the two of you!


Here’s to the Premiers for 2014!!…..thanks to everyone involved.

Grand Final Result

Nomads def. Saints
Q13220 3523
HT8351 4731
Q313785 6945
FT13785 6945


  • C. Ballagh,
  • V. Chakalisa,
  • T. Dickson,
  • Z. Economou,
  • M. Foley,
  • M. Folpp,
  • J. Freund,
  • J. Frost,
  • A. Garraud,
  • C. Graham,
  • I. Graham,
  • T. Granleese,
  • W. Hall,
  • S. Hanks,
  • T. Hunt,
  • Z. Old,
  • L. Raymond,
  • D. Richards,
  • M. Spencer,
  • O. Temoso,
  • Z. Wells,
  • W. Whitby.


  • D. Richards (8),
  • I. Graham (3),
  • W. Whitby,
  • Z. Economou.

Award winners:

  • D. Richards (Graham Nuttall Trophy),
  • T. Granleese (Golden Fist),
  • D. Richards (Players' Player),
  • S. Hanks (Coach's),
  • T. Hunt (President's),
  • I. Graham (Captain's),
  • M. Foley (Gleeson's),
  • C. Ballagh (Spectators').

One Response to “Nomads perform the Old Back-to-Back-to-Back Trick”

  1. Gleeson's Ghost Says:

    A big thank you to el Presidente Starry who does everything from reports to clearances to sporting pulse stuff to representing Nomads as TAFL committee meetings to assistant coaching to mentoring to helping organise social events. A strong club off the field is lead by a strong leader and shouldn’t go unnoticed as much as he’d like.

    Also a big thanks to Ronny Crump who runs the website and email list and casts a fine eye over everything on the admin side.

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