Roos and Swans prepare for first local derby

The Tamworth Kangaroo’s might be the home side for the weekend, but the Tamworth Swans won’t need to travel far as the away team. The local derby will see the Roos and Swans meet at 12pm for the womens game and 2pm for mens. 

After a hiatus in 2020, the Tamworth Kangaroos women’s team have returned to the paddock with a mix of new girls to the sport and experienced players. The Roos are excited to have a few girls returning after time away for babies and injury notably Teoni Williams and Savannah Shepherd. 

Mackenzie Barton, who debuted for the Roos in 2019, has been appointed captain this year and is doing great things in terms of motivating the team and ensuring the new girls are well supported.

Coach Brett Douglas is back on board after coaching the side to a grand final in 2019. He’s definitely a key factor in driving the team towards similar success this year. Although they’ve lost the first few games, the Roos’s are getting the hang of it and hoping to convert this into a win this round. 

The Swans ladies have had one of their best preseasons yet, with the girls working hard on their fitness. The girls have had good turn over of players and many rookies have come into the squad with a strong skills focus. They have improved week on week in the first part of the competition and are forming to be a very competitive outfit. 

Daisy George is once again captaining the Swans girls. She comes from an established football family and despite her age, having played in 3 of the 4 AFLNW women’s grand finals, is a natural on field leader.

The Roos men have been strong through pre-season with a number of new recruits and also several juniors moving into senior footy, including prolific goal-scorer Jack Dadd, outstanding backman Billy Tydd and all-rounder Luke Sing. All three of those boys have added some youth and positivity to the side. Overall, the side this year is quite young and the new coaches, Benny Mitchell and Nathan Vaisey are really capitalising on those fresh legs. Both Ben and Nath have outstanding AFL careers and are complimented well by Greg Vallendar, who has been instrumental in starting Ben and Nath off in their coaching careers.

With the start of the season kicking off, the team is really starting to gel together and put their pre-season fitness & skills into work. Carl Frazier is captaining the team again this year and things are looking really promising for the men. With the 10 year anniversary of the last Roo boys premiership win this year, it would be great to celebrate that with a new premiership team and the side is looking like they’re in with a good chance of achieving that.

The Swans men’s team has turned over some key players from 2020, but has the spine of their grand final team and will be keen to make amends on last season. They have looked sharp as they built through the preseason and hit the ground running with strong showings in Narrabri and the first two rounds. With a long way to go in the season, the boys are focusing on consistent efforts each week, in what is shaping up to be a very even competition.

The Swans men’s captain is Adam Cruickshank. He leads by example with a tireless effort and determination on field, and has grown into his role, instilling discipline and setting clear expectations within the team. 

Number 1 oval is expecting a good turnout of supporters given the incredible support of the Tamworth community of both teams which is amazing for the sport. Whilst there’s some long-standing friendly rivalry between the clubs, it’s a testament to the town to be able to support the numbers to field teams in both men and women’s sides across both clubs. 

Other games in Round 3:

Bellevue Oval, Armidale

Armidale Nomads vs Gunnedah Bulldogs 

(10:15am – U14s; 12pm – Women; 2pm – Men’s)

Varley Oval, Inverell

Inverell Saints vs Narrabri Eagles Moree Suns

(12pm – Women; 2pm – Men’s)

King George Oval, Glen Innes

Glen Innes Celts vs Inverell Saints

(10:30am – U17s)