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A last minute call-up to the new-look Cowboys Push-Up Boys was too good to refuse for Daniel ‘Stricko’ Strickland, the ex-North Queensland Toyota Cowboys player joining the flamboyant quartet for last weekend’s home game against the Panthers.

With a slower start to the game, the Push-Up Boys were left waiting eagerly on the sidelines but a strong run home for the win kept Dan very busy!

“We had a very quiet first half and I was a little worried I might not get to do any [push-ups] but the boys rattled home with a terrific win and if my calculations are correct we accumulated 44 all up!” he said.

“It was a bit of a last minute call from one of the other boys I know who does it regularly. He gave me a buzz and asked if I was keen and I was a bit iffy, but my kids got me over the line with how excited they were for me to do the job.”

The Cowboys Push-Up Boys are part of the on-field action at 1300SMILES Stadium each home game, matching the team's points from tries scored with the same number of push-ups on the sideline.

The father of three played 67 first grade games for the Cowboys between 2000 and 2006, so being back on the field was a real thrill for Cowboy #122.

“It was absolutely awesome being so close to the action and I love any chance to do anything for the place that gave me so much.”

Dan believes it’s important to contribute back to the game (post-career), staying heavily involved in the rugby league community in a number of roles, including as the inaugural strength and conditioning coach for the Townsville Blackhawks.

“I worked for the club [Cowboys], and local A-grade teams and I currently have the amazing opportunity to coach my son and his mates in the Under 11s," he said.

“One thing I never get sick of is footy people, they are just great fun to be around and the bonds you make are long-lasting.”

Dan says his time with the club helped him find his calling as a fitness professional.

“It was on the training paddock and in the gym that I was able to take the most out of and shape what I do now … I was always a far better trainer than I was a player!”

Dan hasn’t ruled out making another appearance as a Push-Up Boy, saying he would happily don the war paint again if required.

Thanks, Stricko – it was great to see you back on the field!

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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