PATHWAY TO THE TOP – developing rugby league talent in North Queensland
The Cowboys Academy, proudly supported by Toyota, the North Queensland Toyota Dealers and Coca-Cola Amatil, provides a structured pathway to support the development and transition of promising young rugby league players through the playing ranks, from junior rugby league through to the NRL.
The Academy focuses on high-school aged players (15-17 years), with sessions run in regional centres encompassing Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Brisbane and Rotorua.
The Academy is strategically structured to provide:
- A best practice system based on acquiring all the attributes required to play in the NRL
- Access to highly qualified skill coaches and player welfare and strength & conditioning staff
- A clear pathway for athletes to build a career in rugby league
Academy participants will gain:
- Development of core skills and game sense
- Knowledge of best practice training techniques, strength and conditioning and nutrition
- Support for the journey to become a professional athlete, including player welfare and life skills
- Regular feedback and communication from academy staff to ensure targets are reached
Academy players are selected by the Cowboys recruitment manager, with the assistance of trusted local coaches.
Recruitment and talent identification staff are present at key rugby league events, including:
- Various junior league games in regional centres
- School and club representative carnivals
- State-run competitions
Players identified for inclusion are then invited to attend academy sessions in their local area each year.
Aaron Payne, Elite Pathways Coach
Clint Zammit, Recruitment Manager
Glenn Hall, Elite Pathways Manager
Jared Hoare, Elite Pathways Strength & Conditioning Coach