Bowen determined to reclaim Cowboys spot
COWBOYS centre Javid Bowen is adamant he can force his way back into the NRL side after taking his game to another level during North Queensland's gruelling preseason.
Bowen has some fierce competition in the outside backs this season with Nene MacDonald and Tom Opacic joining the club while young guns Gideon Gela-Mosby and Enari Tuala are also in the mix.
Bowen, who is the nephew of Cowboys legend Matt, was an under-20s star for the Cowboys and has played 29 NRL games since debuting in 2016, showcasing plenty of his uncle's attacking flair.
But he has struggled for consistency in first grade and played just six games in 2018, starting the season in the centres before he was dropped to the Queensland Cup with the Northern Pride.
The Cairns product was approached about a move to the English Super League with Hull FC before signing a one-year extension with the Cowboys and Bowen felt North Queensland was still the best place to further his rugby league career.
"There was a bit of interest, but I've got a lot of family in Townsville and I've always wanted to stay here," the 25-year-old said.
"I guess I just have to show that I want the spot and just keep training hard and playing hard footy.
"There's a few spots up for grabs and there'll be a lot of us pushing for those spots. When the time comes hopefully I can hold it and play consistent footy."
Cowboys coach Paul Green has praised Bowen for leading the way in their fitness sessions before Christmas and the rangy centre said he felt better prepared for the rigours of an NRL preseason.
"Last year wasn't too good with my performances, but I learnt from that and I've come in this year ready to return," Bowen said.
"I've felt a lot better and I prepared over Christmas a lot better for when I came back for preseason. It felt a lot easier.
"There's a new fitness coach (Michael Dobbin) here and he knows what he's doing so he's definitely changed the training. He's helped players individually so it's been really good."
The Cowboys have continued to run field sessions at 1300SMILES Stadium this week despite the torrential rain and Bowen felt the weather could actually work to their advantage.
"We came in and we weren't too sure if we were going to get out of the field, but I guess it's good for ball skills to do it in the heat and in the wet," he said.