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Year 1 - 1995

The Cowboys inaugural year saw massive crowd support for a team composed of young, mainly local players and a few seasoned campaigners from established clubs, most of whom were North Queenslanders originally.

The first Cowboy Captain was Ingham's Laurie Spina who after eight seasons of Sydney first grade football had returned to home to the cane farm and played local league for four seasons before 1995.

Relishing the chance to represent his native North Queensland, Laurie proudly returned to the big league in Cowboy colours.

Other seasoned campaigners to join the Cowboys were Australian and Queensland forward Martin Bella, (originally from Sarina), and Tully's Craig Teitzel who had enjoyed a strong career in both Brisbane and Sydney football.

Also playing for the North Queensland Cowboys was Queensland representative Adrian Vowles, NSW Country Origin representative Ian Russell, Ingham's Dean Schiffillitti and lively North Sydney and Newcastle halfback Jason Martin.

Dean Schifilitti's season was cut short in the first game, and he did not take the field again until 1996; a major blow for the new club.

Further complications for 1995 were the off-field drama's affecting the game when the Super League/ARL debate became a major issue for the code. Kerry Boustead left the club after only five rounds.

Highlights for the Grant Bell coached 1995 Cowboys include winning two matches, the first against Illawarra Steelers away, and the second against Sydney Westerns Suburbs Magpies.

This victory, the first at home produced incredible scenes of celebration, similar perhaps to when Arch Foley's Townsville side lowered Brisbane's colours for the first time in 1921!

Another highlight for 1995 was the first "local derby" clash between the Cowboys and Brisbane Broncos.

It was a hard fought match which set the benchmark for fierce, healthy rivalry between the two Queensland clubs, reminiscint of the old state championships of yesteryear.

A young Tully forward called Peter Jones made his first grade debut, and mid season a 19-year-old Proserpine footballer called Paul Bowman was signed by the club.

Season statistics

  • Captains: Laurie Spina, Jason Martin, Adrian Vowles, Bruce Sinclair, Paul Galea, Johnathon Davies
  • Coach: Grant Bell
  • Principal Sponsor: XXXX
  • Won 2 games, lost 20
  • Points for 269, points against 660
  • Finished 20th
  • Player of the Year: Wayne Sing
  • Average home ground crowd: 21,678

Representative players/coaches

  • Kevin Ellis: Wales 1995 World Cup Squad