North Queensland have thought out-of-the-box by enlisting the service of Fremantle Dockers senior strength and conditioner Michael Dobbin, appointing him as head of performance in a bid to get a competitive edge over rival teams.
Cowboys football director Peter Parr believes the recruitment of Dobbin will help the club manage player training and recovery while dealing with constant travel for games across Australia, a burden both the Dockers and the Cowboys share due to their remote location relative to the rest of their respective competitions.
“We thought if we could find a person who was really well credentialed from outside our sport that it may be some benefit to us, given the amount of rugby league IQ we already had in that area,” Parr told NRL.com.
“Given that Michael had been at the Dockers – where there was an emphasis on finding out as much as he could around travel, fatigue and recovery – we thought he would be a really good fit for our club.
“What has impressed me so far is Michael’s clarity and attention to detail, but what impressed me most was that he wanted to do the job in the first place … to take up the challenge and take himself out of the comfort zone.”
“Because of where we live and our isolation we are always trying to look at things a little differently, and this is one of them,” Parr said.
“We are more travelled than any other club, we live in the tropics and we are isolated.
“It is not like we can go and easily access an AFL club, an A-League club or a Super Rugby club to compare what we are doing so we have to think outside the square at times.
“We are not looking to re-invent the wheel but we like to think we are as innovative as we can be.”