The North Queensland Cowboys have appointed former player Aaron Payne as their NYC head coach for 2016.
Payne is a life member at the club, having played 219 games for them from 2002 to 2012. He captained the side in 22 of those games.
A Townsville junior, Payne is a two-time Paul Bowman Medal winner for the Cowboys’ player of the year.
Since retiring, Payne has been in charge of the Cowboys’ Academy program. 12 players who have come through the program will be member’s of the Cowboys’ NYC squad in 2016.
“Aaron 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,” (Cowboys Elite Pathways Manager) Micheal Luck said. “He’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.”
Payne said he was thrilled to be able to continue his coaching journey at the Cowboys.
“I’m really looking forward to this new challenge of my coaching career, especially given it’s at the club I have proudly been involved with since I was a teenager,” he said.
Outgoing coach Todd Payten has moved up the NRL squad as an assistant to Paul Green. Payten took the side to within one win of the 2015 Grand Final.