Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah – the Nomads win four in a row

The New England Nomads are premiers of the TAFL for the fourth year in a row after beating a determined opposition in the Tamworth Roos in what was a very close match. David “Rampaging’ Richards” kicked 5 goals for the Nomads while Matt Foley was voted man of the match by TAFL officials. Well done to Zac and all the boys for keeping up the intensity right to the end of the season.


The day began in overcast conditions and strangely the wind was blowing from the East. The Noeys ran through a banner made by Karlie Economou. UNE’s VC (and matron of the Nomads) Professor Annabelle Duncan tossed the coin which was won by the Roos who kicked to the grandstand end.

The Nomads kicked the first goal of the day thanks to a snap by back pocket John ‘Stanley Man’ Shirley. Obviously the Tuesday night snap sessions had done wonders for John’s angle-shots. But this was the last goal the Nomads were to kick for the quarter. The Nomads missed a number of shots one might have normally expected them to slot easily, while at the other end the Roos kicking was deadly. But it was not just their kicking that meant the Roo-boys lead at the first change. The Roos were harder at the ball and had many more numbers at the fall of the ball. Odd as it might sound, given the traditional make-up of the Nomads, the New Englanders were top-heavy with talls. The Roos running players on the wings and flanks were relishing the wide open spaces of the Bellevue, being used to the cramped conditions of the Tamworth no.1. Despite the score-line, many things were going well for the Nomads. The midfielders were doing very well with ruckman Tim Keys, Paddy Tobias, the Jeddacutta Man and Mr Everywhere Matt Foley all winning hard ball out of the centre. Up back Phill was doing a great job punching every ball that came his way. Up forward Hayden Clarke and Zac Economou were taking some strong grabs. Nonetheless there was also some loose defending that allowed some of the Roos’ better forwards too much freedom as well as not enough defensive run on the part of forwards. More needed to be done if the Nomads were to take home the flag. The scores at the first break were Nomads 1.3.9 to the Roos 4.0.24.

In the second quarter—kicking to the grandstand end—the Nomads started playing better football. The half forwards, Clarrie Barker and Jesse Petrascu were providing plenty of movement The wingers, Luke Rambo Raymond, Shannon Macdonald and Mark Spencer started making more use of the space. However, poor kicking once again marred the Nomads’ efforts. The easterly meant that the interchanger bench was now the dead-pocket. The ball probably should have been coming from the St Alberts flanks, but old habits are hard to come. The Nomads missed a number of shots from the western side with a couple of shots going out on the full. In the backline Tom Granleese, and Phill Mitchell were doing a wonderful job punching everything that was in the air and nullifying the Roos forwards. Tom Hunt was also taking some strong marks and getting a few runs on.

At half time the Nomads were trailing the Roos by 12 points.

Early in the third quarter the Nomads’ hopes received a blow with Paddy Tobias going down after a tackle with a broken leg. There was a ten minute delay when the ambulance came onto the field to take Paddy to emergency. The boys realised they had to lift, since Paddy had been doing so much hard work in the middle and in the packs. The team raised the intensity level with lots of clearances coming from the boots of Jed and Mr Everywhere. Wulu Hall was causing the Roos backmen trouble with his rapid leading. At the final change the Nomads were just leading by two points, the scores being 7.11.53 to 8.3.51.

In the final quarter the leaders of the team pushed their work-rates up to another level. Zac Econonou was dominant at centre half forward taking a number of telling pack marks. In the back line Tom Hunt, Matty Woodward, Tony Dickson Hugh Cook, Andre Garraud, Al Mitchelson and Tom Granleese stood firm.

And then there was David John Malcolm Oscar Richards. Twice at vital moments in the last quarter the cry went up from the crowd “MODRAAAAAA’. Despite being tagged heavily his class showed when he slipped the close tag and goaled. You could see the Nomads spirits lift when he goaled and those of the Roos sank as the sherrin banged into the nets.

In the end it was a wonderful finish to what was a magnificent final. The whole team lifted when they needed to. In the final 5 minutes light rain began to fall. The second best tennis player in the TAFL took two strong marks despite the wet and Tony Dickson threw himself manically into the contests.


After the game the Nomads decamped to the Wicklow where a fine selection of beers and platters were provided and much beer was drunk from the cup, in part due to Al’s ingenuity (though I am not sure about those drip trays, Al). Later in the evening the party moved to at Al Mitchelson’s surprisingly luxurious residence. While Rambo and Mitch and Snowy were causing havoc on the dance-floor, the Hunts were taking control of the couches, Al was explaining the meaning of the Old Scotch Thistle’s victory song and MODRAAAAA and King Woodenbong were discussing the finer technical points of the Stanky Leg well into the wee hours. Good times.

The Nomads have lots to look forward to in 2016. New boys Petrascu, Mitchell, Keys, Snowden, Darton and Clarke can only get better as they learn one another’s game. We look forward also to the continued development of young Clarrie Barker who has been around the club since he was a very young. IN deed, the future looks bright will all of this new blood.

This is the time and place to thank all of the people who make it possible and make the club the great and friendly place it is. Firstly, Brendan Meehan who is tireless in his efforts about the place. He and Leisa are stalwarts of the club. Also to Brendan and Cheryl Nolan who are very loyal supporters of the Nomads and have been since the inception of the club. Michelle Bray who was our BBQ person after Brendo went overseas and organised a great canteen yesterday. David Bioletti – the club’s umpihullu (every club needs one)- for his cheerful assistance and measured lunacy. Gray Malone for all his quiet assistance. The goal umpires Brian Simpson and Gus Barker. Also all the boundaries who helped out during the year including Sam Bioletti, Ethan Bray, Xavier Walsh and Mitch Harriot. Hugh Cook for the PA and general audio advice. And Pagey for doing a great job as MC with silky vocals on display – thanks for that. Karli Economou who was our medical person all year and did a great job; her calmly-administered and sage advice was very much appreciated all throughout the year but especially yesterday when Paddy went down.

A big thank you to the boys who were unlucky to miss out on the grand final team and helped out magnificently yesterday – Zac Old, Snowy Snowden and Mitch Darton – it is hard to be on the sidelines on a day like that but you were all very much part of the year’s effort.

Also to all the members of the committee who helped organise things – thanks especially to big Phill the Code-Hopper for organising chairs and related things yesterday and Tommy Hunt for the coolers and tents and Jed for his general advice on all football matters. Gleeso as Secretary and Tony Dickson as treasurer were both tireless servants of the Nomads and Gleeso was very much part of the brains trust behind the win.

Finally to Zac – I know how much work he put in every week getting to training, thinking about sides, advising people on how to improve their games, ringing people, giving people lifts, doing media interviews, fixing nets behind the goals and so on and so forth– well done on your deserved success as coach.

We will have left people out and to those people we apologise.

Go the Green!

Grand Final Result

Nomads def. Roos
Q1139 4024
HT4832 7244
Q371153 8351
FT101272 9761


  • C. Barker,
  • H. Clarke,
  • H. Cook,
  • T. Dickson,
  • Z. Economou,
  • J. Ellis-Cluff,
  • M. Foley,
  • A. Garraud,
  • T. Granleese,
  • W. Hall,
  • T. Hunt,
  • T. Keys,
  • S. Macdonald,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • A. Mitchelson,
  • J. Petrascu,
  • L. Raymond,
  • D. Richards,
  • J. Shirley,
  • M. Spencer,
  • P. Tobias,
  • M. Woodward.


  • D. Richards (5),
  • Z. Economou (2),
  • H. Clarke,
  • J. Ellis-Cluff,
  • J. Shirley.

Award winners:

  • M. Foley (Players' Player),
  • D. Richards (Coach's),
  • J. Ellis-Cluff (President's),
  • T. Granleese (Captain's),
  • P. Mitchell (Meehan's Plumbing Services').

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