Young guns take advantage of footy pathway
Friday, November 13, 2015
The Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks mission to provide a complete pathway for rugby league in North Queensland through to the NRL is well underway with the club this week signing five young guns from the North Queensland Cowboys 2015 NYC side.
The player pathway gap that previously existed for players over the age of 20 is now closed and the Mendi Blackhawks will continue to attempt to provide an opportunity for these young players to continue their development locally when they finish their NYC careers.
Twenty year old Lock Andrew Niemoeller comes to the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks following a stellar year with the Cowboys NYC side in which he was named NYC Player of the Year for season 2015. The Queensland Under 18 and Under 20 Representative played his junior rugby league for the Norths Devils in Brisbane before signing on with the Cowboys as a scholarship player and eventually going on to captain the NYC side in 2015.
David Munro was born on Cook Island but hails from Darwin in the Northern Territory. Munro represented his home state the Northern Territory in Under 12s, Under 15s and Under 16s before moving to Townsville as a Cowboys Scholarship holder and attending Kirwan High School. Also currently aged twenty, the forward has played for the Cowboys NYC side for past 3 seasons.
Herbert River Crusher’s junior Kieran Quabba grew up in Ingham and moved to Townsville as a Cowboys scholarship holder during his senior years whilst attending Ignatius Park. Quabba played for the Under 18 Queensland side alongside Niemoeller in 2013 and like his teammate captained the Cowboys NYC side in 2014. The forward is studying to be a teacher at James Cook Univeristy and was recently named in the NYC Academic Team of the Year at the NRL’s Community and Player Education Awards.
Temone Power was born and bred in Bowen and played his junior football for the Bowen Seagulls. Following an outstanding year in the Townsville & Districts Rugby League for the Burdekin Roosters in 2014 Power came to Cowboys on a Train and Trial basis and was selected to play for the NYC side in season 2015.
Bundaberg product Kyle Laybutt moved to Townsville at the beginning of 2015 season to try his luck at the Cowboys. Having been a part of the same Queensland Under 18’s side as Quabba and Niemoeller, the five-eighth found plenty of familiar faces in the Cowboys NYC squad and ended up having a significant impact in 2015, helping to steer the side to a Preliminary Final. Laybutt was also the NYC side’s goal kicker so he will provide another kicking option for the Blackhawks in the upcoming season.
Four of the five players will next week be put through their paces when the Mendi Blackhawks squad return to Jack Manski Oval for pre-season training, with Laybutt remaining with the Cowboys training squad for the 2016 preseason.
Further signings will be announced for the 2016 season in the coming weeks.