Thurston gives tips to juniors
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
QUEENSLAND star Johnathon Thurston was undoubtedly the popular attraction at the North Queensland Cowboys junior clinic at Marley Brown Oval on Friday night.
Thurston, who had an outstanding 2005 capped by his groundbreaking Dally M Medal victory, was in the harbour city alongside Maroons and Cowboys' team-mate Paul Bowman for the clinic.
Not surprisingly, the Cowboys duo proved popular with Gladstone's junior players, but it was Thurston in his first visit here, who was the star.
'It's great to be here in Gladstone, to be out here with the kids is something I really enjoy,' Thurston said.
'When I was younger you didn't really get these type of opportuni-ties to see the NRL stars, so hopefully us being here makes a difference.'
After last year's grand final loss to the Wests Tigers, Thurston said the Cowboys have been training hard to ensure they can go that one step better in 2006.
'We have been slugging it out all right,' he joked. 'The boys are working hard and there is no problems with being motivated, we are all hungry to win the premiership.
'But saying that, there are a lot of good teams in the NRL and anyone of six or seven teams have the talent to win it.'
Thurston said he would return to the field in the Cowboys trial clash against the New Zealand Warriors in Cairns this Saturday.
Gladstone District Junior Rugby League president Andy Toon was pleased with the response to the clinic adding it was great to see the likes of Thurston and Bowman in the harbour city.
More than 60 juniors attended the session as did former Origin legend Gary Larson, ex-Cowboys skipper Peter Jones and Cowboys regional academy coach Richard Duff.