Nomads seniors go into recess for 2024

THE New England Nomads will not be entering senior teams in the AFL North West in 2024.

The Nomads have experienced a summer of regular players moving out of the region and have been unable to replace them with first year student’s arriving at Armidale’s New England University.

The Nomads have struggled to fill numbers in both the men’s and women’s teams and club president Adrian Walsh said it is for this reason that the club has made the decision to go into recess for the 2024 season.

“This would be the worst in the 20 years I have been here. It is an unfortunate circumstance where we had a number of key players leave or retire and it has all happened at once,” Walsh said.

“We haven’t been able to refill it quick enough with new people coming to town or any new students.”

The decision affects just the senior club. The junior Nomads will continue playing in the Auskick program and junior age groups in 2024 with the junior club experiencing a steady growth playing numbers in recent years.

The Nomads senior teams have a long history of having a regularly changing line-up from year to year due to being a university-based club.

But it is unusual to have such a small number of players at this stage of the year turn up and register to play.

The club is now working on strategies to ensure the Nomads return to senior football scene in 2025.

One of those strategies involves continuing to train on Thursday nights where all past, present and prospective players can join in.

The AFL’s Community Football & Competition Manager for Northern NSW, Brad Greenshields, said it’s always disappointing when a club finds itself battling hard times but the next move is to put plans in motion to move forward.

“In the short term the clubs will meet to discuss the best way to conduct the 2024 season which will now be a four-club competition,” Greenshields said.

“The longer term plan is to work with the Nomads to ensure they return to the playing field in 2025.”