Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PAUL MALONE

CLINCH­ING a fu­ture at the Cowboys for Johnathan Thurston is a pri­or­ity for the club’s new chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Greg Ton­ner, an in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and tele­coms ex­ec­u­tive who started last week as Cowboys CEO, has Thurston’s fu­ture to­wards the end of his play­ing ca­reer and in re­tire­ment promi­nently placed on his to- do list.

Thurston will be 34 when his con­tract ends in 2017 and said last month he had spo­ken with coach Paul Green about whether he would play one more year in 2018.

The great­est Cowboys player said he had more in­ter­est in re­tire­ment in be­ing a coach­ing con­sul­tant rather than a coach­ing staff mem­ber at one club, but Ton­ner wants to keep the cham­pion play­maker in Townsville.

“Johnathan is very much part of this club and work­ing out the right plan for him is def­i­nitely a pri­or­ity for all of us, I be­lieve,’’ Ton­ner told the Townsville Bul­letin yesterday.

“Work­ing out Johnathan’s fu­ture and how he con­tin­ues his ser­vices or we work with him in his post- play­ing ca­reer is on the agenda. He will­ingly gives his time in our com­mu­nity and that’s why he’s re­spected in the re­gion.’’

Ton­ner joins the Cowboys well into a process in which chair­man Lau­rence Lancini and out­go­ing CEO Peter Jour­dain have been try­ing to get Townsville’s pro­posed mul­ti­sports sta­dium near the CBD over the line.

Jour­dain said in May that the sta­dium, pro­jected ini­tially to open in 2020, could not now be com­pleted be­fore 2021 be­cause of de­lays in the process of work­ing with lev­els of gov


Queens­land coach Mal Meninga has taken a leap of faith with Cowboys star Michael Mor­gan for Ori­gin III in Bris­bane next Wed­nes­day night. FULL STORY PAGE 40

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