Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Former Queensland State of Origin representative Coen Hess was named the North Queensland Cowboys Player of the Season for 2021.
The Cowboys would finish in 15th place on the ladder with five wins and 17 losses.
Despite being deemed north Queensland’s best player by the club, it personally was not one of Hess’ better seasons, missing more tackles than he has in any other season and averaging the least running metres he ever has.
Overall in 2021, Hess scored two tries, made one line break, averaged 76 run metres per game and made 624 tackles and missed 68, for an efficiency rate of 90.2%.
However, it is good to see the Cowboys still have faith that Hess will bounce back to the form that saw him once become one of their best players, as the club confirmed today that he had signed a two-year extension on his current deal, keeping him at the club until the end of 2024.
Former Cowboys lock and current Director of Football Michael Luck has put out a statement via the club’s official website on the re-signing of Hess.
“This extension ensures Coen can continue to focus on his development as a footballer, but also as an emerging leader in our playing group."
— NQ Cowboys (@nthqldcowboys) October 25, 2021
“We are thrilled to have secured Coen for a further two years,” Luck said.
“He’s a North Queensland junior who came through our system as a second-rower, but was moved to middle forward last year and we were really pleased with how he handled the transition.
“This extension ensures Coen can continue to focus on his development as a footballer, but also as an emerging leader in our playing group who we believe will be crucial in guiding our next generation of young forwards.”
At 25-years-old, Hess will experience the peak of his powers whilst at the Cowboys, at least the club certainly hopes so, as he becomes a leader in their forward pack.
When looking towards 2022, the Cowboys do have plenty of doubters, as they are one of the favourites to win the wooden spoon.
Since making the 2017 NRL Grand Final, the club has finished in the bottom four.
If the Cowboys are to change that and prove the many doubters wrong by pushing for the top eight then Hess now must become the leader the higher-ups at the club see him as and play with the form to match it, especially now his future up north is secure for the next three years.