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Cowboys halfback Chad Townsend has revealed how the club managed to land his signature, a signing that was questionable at the time but turned out to be fantastic.
Townsend He won the premiership with the Sharks in 2016 and had the option to play for the club this season.
But the 31-year-old opted to leave his home in the Shire where he grew up and move his young family to warmer Townsville last November.
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But Townsend said he thought he would end his career at Cronulla and an approach from North Queensland officials came out of the blue.
“Yeah, it’s wild to be honest, I had an option to stay at the club when I was on my contract at the Sharks,” Townsend said on Fox League.
“You know I never entertained the idea of going out, you know, and all of a sudden I got a call from my manager saying the Cowboys want to talk to you and what do you think? I was like let’s go and chat and you know what they’re thinking.
“Just to show off, I went to a meeting with my manager at a cafe around the corner with Shire.
“I remember going to that meeting with Todd (Payton), Michael Luke, our GM of football, Dane, the head of recruiting, and they told me what they saw in me and what they wanted me to do if I chose to come. Here.
“I was really excited and I left that meeting and went to my husband and said I can do exactly what they want me to do and a week later I signed the contract and declined my choice and that’s how it played out.
“My house, my family, my friends, my husband’s family, my husband’s friends are all in the Shire, as I said, it was a big decision and it would have been an easy decision for us to say no and pick it up.” I was comfortable with my choice in Cronulla, but we chose the hard way, we chose to move.
Townsend left the Sharks for the Warriors midway through last season before injury curtailed his loan spell.
The veteran player said he has spent most of his career pushing himself to be better, and the Cowboys move is just the latest chapter.
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“I have three young children, I’m expecting one more in a month and the easy thing for us was to stay and we chose the hard way to move our young family and we decided early in my career to challenge myself, to get out of my comfort zone and move to New Zealand.
“I wasn’t afraid to put my work first and challenge myself and this was another example of that.”
Townsend has shown the steady hand the Cowboys have needed this season, helping the club sit in second place after 23 rounds.
“Hearing Todd speak from the very first meeting and his vision for the club and him talking about the roster and the young guys on that side and I think they wanted me to come in and help with some leadership and experience. I was very impressed,” he said.
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“I looked at the roster and saw like a lot of very talented guys, in their early twenties and a lot of them still early in their careers.
I knew I could come in and help, I guess, to lead these guys in the right direction on the field and give them a chance to reach their potential.
“Like I said, I know who said what and I understand how the media works and I understand that the people who want it want to choose the people who are going to come in the end, but I understand that they want to create a headline that inspires me.”
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