NEW ENGLAND Nomads player-coach Tom Granleese has asked his players to seek out those who have played in grand finals before and soak up their experience ahead of Saturday’s Tamworth AFL decider.
They face an Inverell Saints side at Varley Oval that is brimming with grand final experience after five years of playing in the season’s biggest game.
That is something a Nomads club, that hasn’t won the flag since 2006, will have to overcome.
“They’ve been in the big one for the last five years,” Granleese said.
“It will be a pretty tough game.
“But we’re pretty confident we can win it. There was nothing between us at the end of the year.”
The likes of Adrian Walsh, Weston Whitby and Ben Page are either still playing with the Nomads or are helping out off the field and the coach pointed to those men as possible sources of guidance and inspiration in grand final week.
The Saints won the major semi-final two weeks ago but there was only three or four kicks in it.
The Nomads have been right up there with them all year and Granleese says its strength across the park gives it a good chance of turning the tables in the grand final.
“I don’t think there’s as many superstars in the side,” he said.
“We’re more solid across the board and that’s the mark of a better team.
“Everyone works well together really.
“I think that’s been the key to our success this year.”
The Nomads qualified for the decider by beating the reigning premiers, the Tamworth Kangaroos, in the final last week in
That was also a close encounter but the home side finished on top.
Roos captain-coach Tim Cotter has given his tip for the grand final, but also knows it could go either way.
“Inverell up there,” he said.
“We were in that situation a couple of years ago and we were worried about their big crowd and their big players.
“But we just pretended none of those things existed and if Nomads don’t worry about the crowd or the big men and play a fast, running, possession game, they can win .”