Group 4: new signings have Dungowan Cowboys believing they can be force in revamped comp

MAN ON A MISSION: New Dungowan captain-coach Lochie Collins. "To make the top four, I’d be over the moon."
MAN ON A MISSION: New Dungowan captain-coach Lochie Collins. "To make the top four, I’d be over the moon."

Dungowan embody the excitement generated by Group 4’s bold bid to rejuvenate first grade – with the Cowboys’ new captain-coach, Lochie Collins, the face of that rousing step into the unknown.

Collins, 22, has spoken about the “buzz” the Cowboys’ step up to first grade has generated at the club and the wider Dungowan community.

And, on a personal note, he is “stoked” about getting the chance to play first grade again after debuting in First Division at North Tamworth.

The hooker-lock said he and several teammates had spoken about their desire to play first grade but they did not want to play for a Tamworth club.

To get that chance while playing for Dungowan is the ideal scenario, he said, especially given the new signingS at the club.

They include former Norths players Shaun Ferguson, Marshall Barker and Corey Manicaros, who played for the Titans’ under-20 side in 2016-17. Barker played for the Moree Boomerangs last season and is a former Group 4 player of the year.

Collins said: “We’ve got the strength in our side to be able to do it [be competitive].

“As I said, to make the top four, I’d be over the moon. But we’re not out to win it our first year … {But] we’ve got guys who have played First Division before. They know what it’s all about.”

He added: “And our little community is right behind us – they’re all buzzing as well.”

TOP SIGNING: Corey Manicaros while playing for the Bears in 2015. Photo: Gareth Gardner

TOP SIGNING: Corey Manicaros while playing for the Bears in 2015. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Ferguson previously played with Dungowan before signing with Norths, where he was man of the match in last season’s grand final.

Collins said: “I got talking to him [Ferguson]. He was really pleased we went up [to first grade].

“He is right behind me. He was the one who pushed me to put my hand up to coach as well.”