Well used member!!!
- Feb 25, 2015
Tooooooo funny!Cartwright ready to step back into limelight
— Exclusive by Peter Badel
Titans foundation coach John Cartwright has rocketed into contention to replace Paul Green at the Cowboys after being interviewed by the North Queensland board.
North Queensland play the Titans on Sunday at Cbus Super Stadium and the Cowboys have sounded out the very coach who spearheaded Gold Coast’s entry to the NRL in 2007.
Cartwright, who celebrates his 55th birthday on Sunday, had eight seasons at the Titans, coaching their first game against the Dragons and helping the Coast to the 2010 preliminary final before his departure at the end of 2014.
John Cartwright obviously doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as an assistant.
The Penrith legend then linked with the Cowboys as an assistant to Green, helping North Queensland to the 2015 premiership before linking with Manly, where he has served as a deputy for the past four years.
But Cartwright still has head-coaching aspirations and he has entered the mix to take charge of the Cowboys in 2021 after formally meeting with North Queensland powerbrokers.
His chances have been aided by the withdrawal of two rival candidates, with Nathan Brown agreeing to a three-year deal with the Warriors and Melbourne assistant Jason Ryles agreeing to stay loyal to the Storm.
Brown and Ryles’ management team advised the Cowboys on Friday the pair were out of the running for the job.
The Cowboys have opted for a thorough search of candidates, rather than headhunting one specified target, and are considering the likes of Cartwright, Todd Payten, Anthony Griffin and England Test coach Shaun Wane.
Shaun Wane has thrown his hat into the ring.
North Queensland will not rush their search and plan to announce Green’s successor by mid-September, but Cartwright’s interview is evidence the former Titans mentor is a serious contender.
Cartwright had mixed success at the Titans. He steered the club to their best-ever finishes in 2009-10 with back-to-back top-four placings, but he slumped to the wooden-spoon in 2011 during the Titans’ financial crisis which sent the Coast broke and required an NRL lifeline.
There is a feeling that the Cowboys require a father-figure style of coach after seven hard-edged seasons under Green, who took North Queensland to their first title, plus another grand final in 2017.
Cartwright could provide a more supportive touch, having been a popular assistant at the Cowboys and now the Sea Eagles.