The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have forged a partnership with the Confraternity of Brothers Clubs Inc. that will see the club strengthen its bond with 48 junior and senior football clubs, Leagues Clubs and "Old Boys" across Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The partnership was ratified at the Brothers Confraternity's biannual conference in Rockhampton last weekend, with Cowboys General Manager of Football Dean Lance addressing delegates on the depth of the club's current development program and the benefits of combining forces.
The three-year agreement will include coaching and financial support from the Cowboys, including assistance with fundraising, participation in development clinics and the donation of Cowboys medals to each of the junior clubs for their presentation days.
The Brothers Confraternity is a close-knit organisation covering clubs in the major and regional centres of Queensland, and north to Darwin. Brothers clubs across the regions had 6,469 registered players in 2009, including over 5,200 juniors, spread across 34 junior and senior football clubs, eight leagues clubs, two 'Old Boys' clubs and four development areas.
"We see the Cowboys-Brothers partnership as a very positive and mutually beneficial association, one that will have terrific results for both partners and for rugby league in Queensland and the Northern Territory overall," Dean Lance said. "Cowboys Willie Tonga and Antonio Kaufusi are products of the Brothers club system, and we look forward to seeing the new talent that comes through and hopefully becomes part of the NRL." Confraternity of Brothers Chairman Brian Roberts is pleased to be on board with the Cowboys from season 2010.
"This association with the Cowboys will give great credence to Brothers' goals for rugby league development, plus the young players can see the opportunity to be involved not only with Brothers but with the Cowboys at the top level," Roberts said. "We've always been impressed with the level of professionalism in the Cowboys management - it's something we at Brothers would like to think we do better than other clubs in Queensland so there are great parallels there."