He was one of their most courageous players and a fan favourite, and North Queensland Cowboys life member and two-time Paul Bowman medallist Aaron Payne has a new role with the club.
He is the new Holden Cup coach for the Cowboys side. Following three years of working with the club as a junior coach – the last two of which have seen him work with the club’s academy side – he has performed well in these roles as both a coach and a mentor to the younger generation.
His work with the juniors have seen numerous sides he was involved in win championships like the U16’s Northern Pride side, the under 18’s Townsville Stingers side and the Capricornia Open Schoolboys team.
These experiences have steeled him for the role ahead and Payne is excited to continue with the club that he has been associated with since he was a teenager.
â€œIâ€™m really looking forward to this new challenge of my coaching career, especially given itâ€™s at the club I have proudly been involved with since I was a teenager,â€ he said.
Micheal Luck, also a former NRL player, is currently the Cowboys Elite Pathways Manager and says that Payne’s experience and exposure to the academy and junior leagues over the last three years made him the perfect candidate for the role.
â€œAaron is the ideal candidate to continue the good work Todd did with the NYC boys in the 2015 season, where the team narrowly missed out on making the grand final,â€ Luck said.
â€œHeâ€™s enthusiastic, has a great football brain from years of playing at a high level in a key position; and has a proven ability to nurture and develop emerging talent.â€