Footy finals fever hits the North West

The Greater Bank AFL North West Finals Series kicks off this Saturday, after 14 rounds of competition.

In the Men’s Competition, only percentage splits this weekend’s opponents, with 2018 Premiers, Inverell hosting 2017 Premiers, Gunnedah at Varley Oval. Both teams have defeated each other at home in season 2019, and the Saints will be looking to continue this trend on Saturday, bouncing straight through to the Grand Final.

A huge day of footy is also scheduled at Bellevue Oval, as the Nomads host teams from Tamworth in the Men’s, Women’s and Under 17s.

The Nomads Men enter their 10th straight finals series after being the dominant team in the league during this period.

Nomads Coach, James Treweeke says a few injuries and some good recent opposition sees his team as coming into the finals with some patchy form, but he is comfortable with the underdog status.

“I am very confident in our squad that we can provide a real threat throughout the finals,” said Treweeke.

“Plenty of underdogs have won, so I don’t see why we shouldn’t.”

Treweeke says that the success the Nomads have had this season can be put down to the combination of the continuity of a core group of players, coupled with the injection of some new recruits.

“Having new University students and Armidale locals join the club over the off season has provided a new element to the culture of the club and in a way has made us refresh and come in with a new and improved mindset.”

The Nomads opponents in the Men’s are the Tamworth Swans, who are back in the finals after a period of languishing near the bottom of the ladder. The team are coming into the finals full of confidence, after winning three in a row, including their first victory over the Nomads in 10 years.

Swans President, Josh McKenzie couldn’t be prouder of his charges, but knows that although reaching the finals is a great outcome, there is still more to play for.

“The men’s group set some ambitious goals at the start of the year and have worked hard to date, but we still have some way to go to reach those preseason ambitions.”

McKenzie describes the team as an “athletic group” who are developing all the time.

The Swans Women enter the finals series full of excitement, after playing their first season in 2019. They have recruited some athletic players, who’s skills and match awareness have improved dramatically throughout the season, as they look to topple the Nomads on Saturday.

Josh McKenzie is hoping for a big day for the club.

“The women went into their first year with no real expectations, but have developed into a genuine hope so we are excited about what they may achieve,” said McKenzie.

In the Women’s major semi-final, the Inverell Saints take on the Tamworth Kangaroos, in a repeat of last year’s grand final.

The Under 17s will feature a knockout final between the Nomads and Tamworth Roosters, as well as the Grand Final qualifier, between Inverell and Moree, which shapes as being the closest match of the day.

Week One Finals Matches

Varley Oval – Inverell

10am    Under 17s         Inverell vs Moree

12pm    Women              Inverell vs Tamworth Kangaroos

2pm      Men                    Inverell vs Gunnedah

Bellevue Oval – Armidale

10am    Under 17s         Nomads vs Tamworth Roosters

12pm    Women              Nomads vs Tamworth Swans

2pm      Men                    Nomads vs Tamworth Swans