North Queensland have executed a third player re-signing this month, with young winger Kyle Feldt remaining in Cowboys colours for another three years until the end of 2017, despite strong offers from southern clubs.
Feldt would not make comment on which clubs were chasing him but the Townsville junior did indicate contract talks were drawn out and the final decision was quite difficult to make.
“It took me a long time to sort out, so it was a big decision for me and my family,” he said.
“It’s always good to stay at home and I think I’ve played my best footy at home, and I’m in front of my family so that’s always good. Because I’m from here was another big part. I didn’t want to leave; I always wanted to be a Cowboy.”
Feldt said the main reason for staying on with North Queensland was the ability and potential of both the playing group and coaching staff.
“(The influence was) mainly the players that are here and their ability, like Johnno (Thurston), Thumper (Matt Scott). I think I have learned a lot more from the boys such as Tatey (Brent Tate) than I would have elsewhere,” he said.
“I have sat down with Tatey a fair bit throughout the course of this contract signing so he has been a bit part of it and helped me through, weighed up all my options. It’s always good to have an older experienced player with me. (He told me) to just knuckle down and not let it all get to you, so hopefully I can do that.
“Greeny (coach Paul Green) has put us in the right step (as a team). He has the right mindset for us and if we all buy in like we are, I think we’re going to go somewhere (this season)."
Having not played first grade since a Round 4 loss to the Titans, Feldt was accepting of his relegation to Intrust Super Cup team the Northern Pride, saying he needed to work on minimising errors and keeping his emotions in check.
“I need to try and knock out all the errors I have in my game. Greeny says I just have to minimise them and I will be back in (first grade), so I just have to concentrate on that when I’m back with the Northern Pride," he said.
“I just need to concentrate more on the game and not let the nerves get to me.
“I don’t think (nerves) will be (affecting me) any more. Coming back from injury wasn’t ideal as well. I think I’ve learned from it all so hopefully I can get another shot and I’ll take it.
“It definitely gives me more security knowing I am going to be here for another three years, so hopefully I can knuckle down now and get stuck into the team and make me want to try and cement a spot in there now.”
Traditionally contract extensions can go one of two ways for a player – complacency, knowing he has a secured spot, or determination to repay the club’s faith – but Green says it will give Feldt a shot in the arm and light the fire for a player targeted earlier this season for his nerves in defence and under the high ball.
“Hopefully now that he certainly sees himself as a long-term future here at the club, so it’s about knuckling down and keep improving each game and I’m sure it won’t be too long until he's back in the team,” Green said.