Matt Bowen sticks with the Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matt Bowen sticks with the Cowboys

By Laine Clark 03/08/2011 07:31:38 PM Comments (0)

He almost gave up the game - but the North Queensland Cowboys never gave up on Matt Bowen.

In the end, Bowen, 29, admitted the NRL club's faith in him during two career-threatening knee injuries proved the difference when he signed on for another two seasons.

"The last couple of years what the Cowboys did for me injury-wise - they kept the faith," said Bowen, who made his first grade debut for North Queensland in 2001.

The former Queensland fullback conceded he was tempted to retire after being forced to undergo radical knee surgery in 2009 - for the second time in his career.

He faced yet another 10-month rehabilitation, and Bowen's belief wavered - but not the Cowboys' faith during his time of need.

All the hard work paid off when Bowen returned to his form of old in 2011 to guide the revitalised Cowboys toward a top four finish, only to attract lucrative rival offers along the way.

Cashed-up UK Super League club Widnes were among his suitors and rugby union reportedly had also shown interest.

The north Queensland native said he was tempted, but knew his heart lay in the faithful Cowboys.

"Yeah, it (leaving for another club) crossed my mind a few times," he said.

"There were a few offers but I always said the Cowboys were my first priority.

"I wanted to play here for as long as I can.

"I look forward to finishing my career here."

Cowboys boss Peter Parr claimed Bowen had signed until "at least" the end of the 2013 season, saying he did not believe it was Bowen's final contract.

"We aren't resolved to thinking this is the last contract Matthew signs," Parr said.

"We have an open mind.

"If Matthew is still motivated and injury free and playing well we will have no hesitation in re-signing him again."

Bowen added: "I will play the next two years and see what happens.

"I obviously want to play after that but I will see how the body holds up."

Bowen has helped the once maligned North Queensland move to third spot on the ladder with at least their first finals berth since 2007 in sight.

"All I am worrying about now is playing in the semis and playing well for the Cowboys," he said.

"We have shown in the last few weeks what we are capable of doing - hopefully we are there come October."

Earlier this year, Bowen broke life member Paul Bowman's record for most NRL games played for the Cowboys and on Friday night against Canterbury, he will play his 220th game for the club.

The Cowboys also announced on Wednesday the signing of Sydney Roosters centre Kane Linnett on a two-year deal beginning next year.

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