NTFA: South Launceston, Bracknell ready for first round | Examiner

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South Launceston and Bracknell have a lot in common as the 2021 NTFA season approaches. Both teams have recruited heavily, have new coaches at the helm and are touted as prime ministerial chances after disappointing performances in 2019. There’s plenty of finals history between the two, with the Bulldogs beating the Redlegs in decision makers 2017 and 2018 – and now they go head to head in the first round. Bulldogs assistant coach Alex Payne is happy the showdown is going on at home and thinks it will be a tough fight. “It’s huge for us, it’s been a bit of a fortress here over the past two years for the South – we’ve always been tough to beat here,” he said. “I don’t think there will be too many people stepping back at 2pm on Saturday.” Payne, who was originally scheduled to coach Evandale during the 2020 season alongside Jack Maher, traveled to the kennel to sit next to his former Launceston coach Anthony Taylor. MORE FOOTBALL He is joined by Jordan Harris and Darren Crawford in the coaching box, proving the Bulldogs haven’t just recruited for talent on the pitch. Opposition coach Corry Goodluck brought together an array of Northwest talent to join the Redlegs in his first game as a senior coach. “It was a bit difficult and I was nervous at first, but I think it’s going pretty well,” he said. “It’s good when you have a good group of boys to train and they are all supporting you to help you.” Like Payne, Goodluck predicted a high-quality, hard-hitting competition between the two candidates for prime minister, acknowledging their history on the big stage. “They are always a tough team to beat and to beat us in a few early stages, they probably have the upper hand a little bit so it’s always a challenge for us against them.” The Premier League also sees a big NTFA Shield final rematch between Deloraine and Rocherlea, while Scottsdale and Bridgenorth welcome Longford and Hillwood into the limelight.

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Mary Moser

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