Welcome mat, challenge out for Paterson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Welcome mat, challenge out for Paterson

Laine Clark 09/06/2011 06:36:03 PM Comments (0)

The welcome mat was quickly rolled out for new recruit Cory Paterson by the North Queensland Cowboys - along with a challenge.

Ex-Newcastle Knight Paterson was warmly received by his new teammates when he began training with the Cowboys this week.

But Cowboys coach Neil Henry said he wouldn't be receiving any favours as the competition hotted up for forward berths.

Recovering from knee surgery, Paterson did not expect to run out in Cowboys colours for up to three weeks after his whirlwind arrival in Townsville.

However, Henry would give no guarantees when their gun mid-season recruit would make his North Queensland debut.

Paterson goes to the back of a forwards queue, with fringe players Ricky Thorby and Isaak Ah Mau already knocking on the NRL door.

"He is acutely aware that he will have to earn his stripes," Henry said.

"We are in a position where our forwards are pretty healthy.

"And we've got some players playing pretty good football (in Queensland Cup) at the moment like Thorby and Isaak Ah Mau.

"He will have to train and have a couple of games in Queensland Cup (before being considered)."

Paterson, 23, said he was well aware of the task ahead when he signed a two-and-a-half year deal.

"If that (playing Queensland Cup) is what I have to do, that is what I have to do - by no means did I expect to come up here and walk straight into a spot," Paterson said.

"You have to earn your place.

"But I came up here to play first grade."

Paterson admitted he was out of his "comfort zone" after flying up to Townsville without his fiancee Sarah and their infant son Jax, who will join him later in the year.

"But it's a challenge I look forward to taking on," he said.

"I don't want to come here and look underdone, I don't want to let the team or town down.

"I want to earn the respect of the boys here, do the hard yards - without that I would just look stupid."

While Paterson likened his arrival at the Cowboys to "the first day of school", the Townsville-based club reminded him of Newcastle.

"Two years ago I was off contract and I looked around up here and was impressed," he said.

"But I was only 20. I wasn't ready to fly the coop.

"But I have a family now and have to do what is best for them.

"And this place is family orientated and they are a great side - it ticks all boxes."

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