With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Ben Hampton is keen to stay a Cowboy.
The backline utility has reportedly entered contract negotiations with the club with every intention of staying as long as he can.
“It is home. Even when I was in Melbourne, I loved Melbourne, but every chance I got I would be back up to North Queensland,” he told The Townsville Bulletin.
“I couldn’t wait to come to this club one day, following the Cowboys as a kid.”
“If I can stay here for the rest of my career I will be doing it. I think we are close to getting something done which I am happy about.”
“It can be a little tougher not being able to play while you are going through negotiations. But the club has been very good with me and we are working to get something done that both parties are happy with. I don’t think we are too far off at all.”
Hampton hasn’t played since round 10 when he ruptured his bicep in the opening set against Parramatta.
He has been back to training for the last two months, but can’t see the point rushing back for the last few weeks and risking making it worse.
“I won’t be risking my arm at all. To go on break and be injured it is not a good thing. I will have to rehab the whole thing again. I am trying to get back still, and I will definitely be pushing for some sort of play,” said Hampton.
“If I got my arm back to a certain point that I was happy with and the coaching staff and physios were happy with then I probably would. But we are not at that stage, we have still a couple of weeks to go.”
“I hate getting a tiny niggle that keeps me out of one training session let alone 13 weeks of footy. It is one of those things with the game, you are going to get injured, it is a pretty tough sport.”
“It has been a bit of a rough year, not only for myself but for the whole club. We have had some tough injuries and it just really hasn’t been our year.”
The Cowboys are on a five-game losing streak and sitting in 15th place on the ladder with three games to go, but Hampton is still hopeful.
“We have got a couple of games to go and hopefully we can finish off on a good note with a couple of good games.”