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Offseason discussion thread

Minto

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Teenage Blackhawks lock Tom Gilbert takes flight in rookie season to win player of the year
TRENT SLATTER, Townsville Bulletin - September 13, 2019 1:18pm

BLACKHAWKS coach Aaron Payne believes it’s a matter of “when, not if” Tom Gilbert makes the step up to the NRL after the teenage lock was named the club’s player of the year.

Gilbert has been a revelation in his first season in the Queensland Cup and he’s missed just one game for the Blackhawks while he was in camp with the Queensland under-20s team.

The 19-year-old has been fearless as he’s gone toe-to-toe with the biggest forwards in the Q-Cup, running for 140 metres per game while also scoring five tries for good measure.

Gilbert admitted earlier this season that he expected to be playing under-20s after coming back from an ankle injury which saw him miss Townsville’s run to last year’s Colts grand final.

The Cowboys-contracted forward was a standout for the NRL side during a preseason trial which earned him a starting spot for the Blackhawks in the Q-Cup and he hasn’t looked back.

Payne has worked with Gilbert since he was first signed to the Cowboys on a scholarship and he said the former Brisbane Grammar student had made the most of every opportunity this season.

“I thought he was fantastic for us from the get-go,” Payne said.

“I’ve coached him since he was 15 through the Cowboys academies and I’m well aware of the type of player he is and what he possesses.

“I think the thing that probably did surprise a few people was just the fact that he was so consistent for such a young kid.

“Just his ability to play big minutes in probably the toughest position on the field physically was testament to him.

“It doesn’t matter who he’s playing he wants to get over the top of them and it’s a great quality to have in a young kid.”

Gilbert is all but certain to make his NRL debut with the Cowboys next season after being included in the 21-man squad for the last three rounds and Payne believed he would only improve with age.

“I’ve always said it’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when and I know he was very close to playing first grade this year,” the coach said.

“Most guys in the middle positions don’t really mature until they’re a lot older than what he is.

“He’s very professional in the way he prepares and trains and he’s got all the attributes that you need to play first grade so I think he’s got a big future ahead of him.

“The really good part about it is he genuinely wants to play for us and the Cowboys.”

Gilbert took out the club’s top award ahead of hooker Josh Chudleigh and backrower Temone Power, who was named Forward of the Year and also voted Players’ Player.

Power has been a model of consistency since shedding 6kg during the off-season, averaging 78 metres per game and scoring 10 tries which also earned him a call-up for the Queensland Residents.

“I think he made a real commitment to himself in the preseason that he was going to shed some kilos and really stamp himself as a dominant force in the Queensland Cup and I thought he really did that,” Payne said of the Bowen Seagulls junior.

“He’s a fantastic person and the fact that he received Players’ Player just shows how much the boys love playing with him and he certainly makes my job easier as a coach.”

https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/sport/teenage-blackhawks-lock-tom-gilbert-takes-flight-in-rookie-season-to-win-player-of-the-year/news-story/7933577c44276b2d8ab95a15a46463ae
 

Jordan

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https://www.cowboys.com.au/news/2019/09/17/2019-presentation-ball-live-updates/
https://www.cowboys.com.au/news/2019/09/17/2019-paul-bowman-medal-contenders/
https://www.cowboys.com.au/news/2019/09/17/rookie-of-the-year-contenders/

Join us from 6:30pm on Wednesday, September 18 as we celebrate the 2019 season at the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys' 25th Annual Presentation Ball!

Follow our live updates here as we take you through our night of nights, culminating in the Paul Bowman Medal for the 2019 Cowboy of the Year!

The awards to be presented tonight include:
- Club Person of the Year
- Members' Player of the Year

- Rookie of the Year
Contenders:
* Mitch Dunn
* Reuben Cotter
* Scott Drinkwater
* Shane Wright
* Murray Taulagi
* Peter Hola

- Coach's Award
- Players' Player of the Year

- Paul Bowman Medal for Cowboy of the Year
Contenders:
* Jason Taumalolo
* Josh McGuire
* Michael Morgan
* Jordan McLean
* Kyle Feldt
* John Asiata

- Townsville Bulletin Fans’ Choice Award
 

Bass Player

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Geez, ain't that a visit to your nan's on a Sunday arv...
 

CC

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Why would anyone celebrate that shite season effort, are they given tickets away for free. Even a free ticket wouldn't entice me to go.
 

CC

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I’d go. But I support my team through thick and thin.
I'll continue supporing the team, but why would you reward such a shit effort. Other than Feldt & JT, name one player who earnt their money this year?
 
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Tunza

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I'll continue supporing the team, but why would you reward such a shit effort. Other than Feldt & JT, name one player who earnt their money this year?
Agree - but I'd add Opacic, Wright, Molo, Drinkwater and give immunity to the kids that didn't get much of a run including GOATbert, Hola and Cotter. The rest are certainly debatable.
 
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Ianc

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I'll continue supporing the team, but why would you reward such a shit effort. Other than Feldt & JT, name one player who earnt their money this year?
You miss the point of support, imo
 

Metro

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Is there a most improved? Surely it will be Molo if there is.
 

Metro

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It’s amazing how obvious the best performers are in a bad season. We need the others to step up next season.
 

Metro

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Wow. Interesting players’ player. Maybe has something to do with him playing through injury a lot.
 
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