THE Tamworth Swans have renewed confidence ahead of the 2019 AFL North West season after a successful trip to Port Macquarie.
The club's men's and women's sides faced off against the Port Macquarie Magpies for the first time in a trial match.
For the women's side it was a momentous occasion, the game marking the first time the Swans have ever fielded a women's team.
Neither game was scored, with both sides focusing on preparing for the upcoming season, which begins on April 27.
Swans men's coach Paul Kelly told the Leader the trip was a "huge success".
"I think both sides will be much better for the run around," Kelly said.
"I know from the men's side of things, we were pretty rusty early in the game.
"However, after half-time we lifted and performed really well. The girls also had a lot of fun and I think they will all feel a lot better for the run around."
It was a new-look Swans side, which was missing several key players, including 2018 Gillies Medal winner Ed George, who was representing the Northern Heat at Byron Bay.
However, despite the absences, Kelly said several players "stepped up" during the game.
"Quite a few of the boys played in positions they weren't quite used to," he said.
"For example, Jayden Taylor had a run in the backline and had a really good game.
"While Liam Dunn usually plays in the backline, he had a run up forward and did a really good job for us.
"That's the beauty of trial matches, they allow you the opportunity to try guys out in a few different positions."
Kelly said the introduction of a women's team to the club had helped strengthen the Swan's culture.
"All of the girls have fit into the club really seamlessly," he said.
"It really makes it feel like a new club to be honest.
"Everyone is supporting one another and everyone had a great time during the trial matches. I think it has left us all full of hope for the 2019 season."
The club will now turn its attention to the annual Crossroads Cup competition in Narrabri on April 6.
Hosted by the Narrabri Eagles the pre-season tournament is one of the final chances for clubs to play before the beginning of the season.
"We will certainly have some guys go over for the competition," Kelly said.
"I know the girls are really looking forward to it, so there might be a chance for us to take a bus over as a club.
"The men's team should also have quite a few of our experienced players back in the side as well."
The Swans men's team will open their 2019 season campaign with an away clash against Narrabri.
"It will be very good to launch into the season," Kelly said.
"Compared to where we were last year we are a long way ahead and really looking forward to getting into it."