Hum­bling to be Cow­boys top gun

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

BE­ING named to cap­tain the team this week for the first time is pretty hum­bling, but the pos­si­bil­ity of tak­ing on the job long term isn’t some­thing I’ve thought about.

It feels a bit weird to be hon­est, as it doesn’t seem that long ago I was the young kid just com­ing into first grade. Just be­cause I’ve been named cap­tain doesn’t mean I’ll change any­thing I do, other than the toss be­fore the game, and Greeny will give me an idea of whether we re­ceive or kick off any­way.

Grow­ing up in Townsville I know how big a deal the club is to peo­ple here, hav­ing come through the grades and watch­ing them on week­ends.

I was never even a cap­tain at any stage through my ju­niors and I’ve got the job on the back of some bad luck to other peo­ple with Coops join­ing JT and Matt Scott on the side­lines with in­jury.

I’m very grate­ful Greeny has given me that re­spon­si­bil­ity, but at the mo­ment it’s cer­tainly not long term.

Down the road when a few guys move on I might think about it as some­thing I might like to do long term, but I’m just fill­ing in.

I’ll try and lead by ex­am­ple as I don’t have any mo­ti­va­tional speeches in me. I hope none of the boys are ex­pect­ing that, be­cause they’ll be wait­ing for a while.

To­mor­row night’s clash at Pen­rith is ex­tra im­por­tant con­sid­er­ing where both teams are on the lad­der, es­pe­cially af­ter los­ing two in a row.

We don’t want to rely on other re­sults to make the eight, we want to be play­ing good footy and tie up our spot early.

Much has been said and writ­ten about the ex­tra play­mak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity I’ve been tak­ing on with JT out, and our full­back Lach­lan Coote should get plenty of credit for help­ing ease the load.

He’s a real loud voice on the field. You might be com­ing around on one side of the field and he’s al­ready got our at­tack­ing shape set.

I only have to fall into what he’s called and it’s def­i­nitely a huge help.

He’s not known much for it ex­ter­nally but he’s cer­tainly a smart foot­baller when it comes to call­ing the right play at the right time.

Fi­nally, I’d like to pay tribute to Ray Thomp­son, who an­nounced he will be re­tir­ing at the end of the sea­son af­ter deal­ing with sev­eral in­juries dur­ing his ca­reer.

I don’t think there’d be too many oth­ers who would have played the games he has this sea­son given what he has to go through to get him­self right to play. He’s tough, well liked and re­spected in the group. He’s had that many in­juries, so to play 111 NRL games is very im­pres­sive.

SKIP­PER: Cow­boys half Michael Mor­gan will cap­tain North Queens­land this week. Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

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