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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

“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.”

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“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.”


  1. So the Cowboys’ kicking game should improve dramatically but at the expense of their ball handling which will be harder to come to grips with in their AFL approved tighter shorts. Unfortunately, they won’t get a point for missing anymore as there are no consolation prizes or participation awards in the NRL.

  2. Big mistake by the cows.
    Parra hired a AFL strength and conditioning coach this year and we looked weak and to skinny.
    AFL and NRL should never be mixed.

      • Not to mention the Dockers have never been strong/fit enough to close out a game of AFL.
        I can’t wait to tell the boys about this 1 at work tomorrow (I live in Perth, and most are WCE supporters), you’ll hear the laughing from out your way.

        • Well mighty I figured you might be a “westie”, being an Eels supporter, but I think you must set the record as “the westie king”. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

          So are you a West Coast Eagles fan mighty? If only I could tell the “Angry Eagle” you have secretly been an Eagles fan all along. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        • No, not a West Coast supporter, and not an AFL supporter, but yeah, a “very Westie”.
          Now if you think the Roosters have an adavantage in RL, and obviously they have greater access to TPA’s than most, but you ain’t seen nothing.
          The Eagles, mate their TPA’s alone would probably breach the NRL salary cap, and then there’s the post career business opportunities.

        • OMG, expletive, expletive, expletive, I only just realised, you weren’t talking about me being an “Eagles” supporter, as in WCE, and that is seriously bad, but “Eagles”, as in “Sea Eagles”.
          Reg, what I have ever done to you, how could you?

        • β€œEagles”, as in β€œSea Eagles”

          And the penny drops! That’s OK mighty. It all makes perfect sense now that I know you are in WA. It explains why your mate “Ned” is usually 3 hours behind the rest of us. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

          Well, you dodged a bullet mighty because I can’t tell the “Angry Eagle” that you follow the Eagles. It would have been… ironic to say the least.

          “Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.” Buck Murdock – “Flying High 2”

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