Languishing as the NRL's most disappointing team of the past three seasons, the Cowboys will be hoping that 2011 stands as the season that the plucky club finally delivered on it's potential.
And what potential there is! With thanks to the innovation of the Toyota Cup that enables the Cowboys to retain and attract junior talent around the globe North Queensland finally unearthed some players of serious potential. Names like Ray Thompson, Michael Morgan, James Segeyaro, Jason Taumalolo and Will Tupou all starred for the young guns in the Toyota Cup and it's expected that the fair majority will step up in the upcoming season.
But wait, there's more. Not only does North Queensland have an impressive base of juniors, they've also recruited some of the best talent throughout the NYC. Players like NYC player of the year Tariq Sims, gun winger Kalifa Fai Fai Loa and former Melbourne NYC captain Blake Leary all have the credentials to make it in the NRL and it's expected they will all feature in 2011.
These new faces will be a welcomed site by embattled halfback Jonathan Thurston who's had the difficult job of carrying the side through these past few difficult seasons. That's not to say he's done it alone, an opinion such as that should be classified as ignorant as quickly as it's uttered, but few could deny he's had to handle the majority of the playmaking duties and with only a few attacking options to choose from, some of which you could be forgiven for dismissing as Like