1. From the vault: Cane farming Cowboy

For XXXX Cowboys Brad Tassell and Andrew Whittington, working and playing for the Cowboys lets them combine the best of both worlds.

While other players juggle work hours around training, promotional and playing commitments, for Whittington, Tassell and eight of their team mates, the fact they work for the Cowboys organisation makes it that much easier.

Tassell, as advertising representative, pre-sold advertising space in the four 1995 editions of official magazine Round Up after just four weeks.

"It's (the Cowboys) not a hard product to sell," Tassell said. "I also get to meet all the sponsors and people associated with the Cowboys and we've got some great sponsors."

Brad Tassell - juggling Cowboys commitments
Brad Tassell - juggling Cowboys commitments

He is now selling advertising spots on the monster replay screen which will feature at the first home game on March 11.

Tassell, 27, is no stranger to working for the club he plays for. During five years with Eastern Suburbs he worked as an assistant accountant and systems manager.

"It's great working with the guys you play with," he said. "You get to know them better and that helps on the field."

He is also no stranger to selling, in the past working for his father's insurance business is Cairns and planning to take it over when his Dad retires.

The move to the Cowboys has allowed Tassell and wife Leesa to raise their children in North Queensland, while Tassell continues his football career.

Brad and Leesa Tassell celebrating the arrival of Geordanna-Lee. She is a sister for Nicholas, 2, and Benjamin, 5.
Brad and Leesa Tassell celebrating the arrival of Geordanna-Lee. She is a sister for Nicholas, 2, and Benjamin, 5.

A career which he believes last year reached its highest level since his move to Sydney in 1987.

Likewise Whittington, 23, who is groundsman at Stockland Stadium, believes working and playing for the Cowboys is the perfect combination.

Whittington, with the help of a band of willing teammates who work with him at the ground, has closely watched the transformation of the facility from paceway to football stadium.

He has even stayed at the ground overnight during the first day the grass was planted on the field, keeping a close eye on his charge and activating the sprinkler system every hour during the night.

For Whittington, or "Pudd" as he was better known, the move from the Gold Coast has offered him the opportunity to expand his working and playing career.

At the completion of his three year contract with the Cowboys he will also be trained as a groundsman, completing TAFE courses to aid him along the way.

And what of the playing surface he has pieced together with the help of the local turf experts?

"It'll be great. I'm told like the MCG or SCG turf," Whittington said.