THE annual Crossroads Cup tournament will have a new look in 2019 as reigning AFL North West premiers the Inverell Saints will give this year's competition a miss.
Hosted by the Narrabri Eagles, the tournament traditionally features a team from every club in AFL North West and see's each team compete in a series of shortened matches.
Eagles vice-president Tom Carberry confirmed to the Leader the Saints would not field a men's team this year.
"They contacted us a few day's ago to let us know they would be sending a women's team but not a men's team," Carberry said.
"I'm not too sure the reason behind it, however I know it can be a tough time of year to organise players to come to things like this.
"We are very understanding of their decision and other than that it is shaping up to be a really good day."
This year's event will also see the first-ever women's tournament played on the same day, with four teams set to battle it out.
"At this stage the two Tamworth clubs, Moree and Inverell will be sending a team to take part in the tournament," Carberry said.
"It is great to see the girls get involved in the day and I think having their own tournament is a really good indication of how much the women's game has grown in our region.
"In the past we may have only had a stand-alone women's match on the day, so for them to have enough teams to have their own tournament is really special."
Saturday's tournament is set to be a final hit out for the clubs ahead of the opening games of the home and away season on April 27.
"I think it will be a pretty good chance for everyone to measure how they are tracking so far," Carberry said.
"Everyone has been training hard in the pre-season and it should be really good to have a good run leading into the season."
- The tournament will begin at 10am on Saturday when Narrabri clashes with Moree at Leitch Oval number one.