All eyes will be on man-of-the-moment Johnathan Thurston tonight as the champion halfback marks game number 250 for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys. Thurston is already the second-most capped Cowboy and joins fellow life member Matt Bowen (270 games) in the 250-game club. Tributes will be paid to JT at 1300SMILES Stadium tonight, with free JT masks at the gate for members and fans to wear to show their JT love. It was the Broncos, coincidentally, who were the Cowboys’ opponents for JT’s first ever game as a Cowboy.
Prop Sam Hoare suffered a season-ending knee injury several weeks ago and has been busy rehabbing after surgery, working closely with Cowboys physio Steve Sartori and trainer Anthony Wood. Hoare was going to have shoulder surgery at year’s end, but given his knee injury, he brought the surgery forward and has begun rehab work on his shoulder also. The Rockhampton product has a positive attitude towards this injury setback, and joked that his double surgery meant that Sam Version 2.0 will be ready to go in season 2017.
The Cowboys Team Shop has gone mobile, with the new Cowboys merchandise van hitting the streets this week. First official outing is tonight's Cowboys v Broncos game, with the mobile store based at the Northern gate. Kudos to club designer Marie Erker for tricking up the rig.
Long-time Cowboys members Grant and Fay Young were thrilled to bits to be declared the winners of a recent promotion run through the Cowboys Leagues Club. Members for 20 years, the mother and son always attend home games and won an all-expenses-paid weekend to Brisbane to watch the Cowboys play the Storm in Round 10. Fay said she couldn’t believe it when their names were drawn as the winners at the Leagues Club.
Congratulations to three young men in the Cowboys fold who have been selected in the Queensland under-16 team to play New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium on 1 June in the State-of-Origin curtain-raiser. Contracted to the club, Garrett Smith (Mackay Cutters) and Thomas Gilbert (Norths Devils), alongside Cowboys Academy player Hamilton Taia (Townsville Blackhawks) have all been selected in the state team to take on the young Blues.
The first 2016 visits for TryTime!, the club's educational program focusing on positive choices for junior secondary students, were held this week. The TryTime! team including community engagement officer Matthew Bowen, NYC player Kurt Wiltshire, Cowboys community team members and YWAM youth workers visited Charters Towers State High School and Ayr State High School (pictured above), thanks to program partner Evolution Mining. The group presented a module on substance abuse to year 9 students at both schools, with Mango involved in an inspirational Q&A session on his approach to life.