Cats depart but Eagles land

THE Tamworth AFL will remain a six-club competition after losing one club and gaining another in the off-season.

The Narrabri Eagles will be joining the fold once again whilst the Muswellbrook Cats are off to the Black Diamond League in Newcastle.

Whilst there were some murmurs around a third Tamworth side joining the league, Armidale looks like it  will be the most likely candidate to field another team. 

Although it won’t be the coming season, with the comp set to go with six sides.

Premiers  New England Nomads had a huge playing roster last season with up to 40 registered players at times.

TAFL secretary Nick Baird said another Armidale club was a possibility in the future, but not at this stage.

“Our door is always open for another club to join,” Baird said.

“At this stage we are going ahead with six teams again.”

Season 2014 will again be 15 rounds where every team plays each other three times before the finals.

Last year the season kicked off with a triple header in Tamworth and organisers would like to be able to do the same again.

“It’s a great showcase to start the season and gives every team the opportunity to see each other,” Baird said.

“If we can do it again we will but it does bring about some issues.”

No 1 Oval in Tamworth is the home of the TAFL, and when both Tamworth sides start with a home game it leaves some holes in the draw.

It means that some of the Kangaroos’ and Swans’ home and away games line up.

“Some weeks there was no football played in Tamworth,” Baird said.

“Ultimately we would like a game at No 1 Oval every weekend if we can manage it.” 

“It gets the game out in the public and helps promote it.” 

“We are going to juggle the draw around and look at those issues.” 

“Hopefully we can still start with the triple header and have a game at No 1 most weekends.” 

The draw is still being looked at and the start of the season still to be decided.

There are back to back long weekends in April, with Easter and Anzac Day  being considered.

“We could use those weekends to start the season or otherwise we are looking at the start of May,” Baird said.

The draw and start date will be released at the end of January.

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