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Retiring Cowboys Try for Career in Mining

23 November 2021

Retiring Cowboys Try for Career in Mining

Dally M winning halfback and former North Queensland Cowboys captain Michael Morgan and premiership winning teammate Justin O’Neill have swapped their footy boots for steel caps as they consider their careers after football.

As a platinum partner of the Cowboys, Bravus Mining & Resources has developed a ‘Life after football’ program to help players explore new careers as they enter retirement.

Bravus Mining & Resources CEO David Boshoff said the program gave retiring players an understanding of the well-paid, long-term secure jobs available in the company’s mining and rail businesses and the resources sector more broadly.

“The Cowboys have been great supporters of Bravus and we’re thrilled to have developed our relationship with them through our Platinum Partnership and now our ‘Life after football’ program,” Mr Boshoff said.

“The mining industry is regional Queensland’s biggest employer and underpins our economic prosperity, so for two Townsville lads, a career in the resources sector is certainly not out of the question.

“Our team was thrilled to welcome Morgo and Juzzy to our Carmichael Mine site and give them an idea of the different types of roles we have available – whether it be the operators, land coordinators, engineers, commercial, safety or cultural heritage positions.

“There is so much more to the mining industry though than hard hats and high vis, so the pair also spent some time with our corporate affairs team in Brisbane thrown in for good measure.”

The program is designed to help players develop and refine their professional goals and interests, connect them with a dedicated mentor and provide career advice if they wish to pursue work in the sector.

For Michael Morgan, the program was well timed to coincide with his MBA studies.

“I’m not 100% sure what I want to do. I went from school into fulltime footy so it’s a big change and I am lucky to be able to take my time to find something I enjoy,” he said.

“I am probably more interested in the business side of the mine and how it all runs and how the pieces fit together.

“To be honest, there are some guys getting around out here that are pretty dirty doing a lot of hard work, which is probably not up my alley!”

Justin O’Neil is also keen to keep his options open as he juggles a young family along with the transition from professional athlete.

“For me I have just been trying to get my head around what I want to do next,” he said.

“A lot of it has been planning and getting used to going from having my life highly organised with a schedule with footy, to organising my family life and then looking at what my next step might be career-wise.”

Bravus was first associated with the North Queensland Cowboys in 2019 through sponsorship of the ‘Try for 5!’ program.

“We took on Major Partner status in 2020 and then elevated our agreement to Platinum Partner in 2021,” Mr Boshoff said.

“This includes the delivery of Adopt-a-School, the Cowboys longest running community program which gives participating schools the opportunity to utilise their 'adopted' Cowboy as a role model for their students.

“The Cowboys make over 650 visits to North Queensland schools each year and have been involved in a variety of school community activities, including curriculum activities, sporting clinics, presentation nights and school assemblies.”

Along with the ‘Life after football’ program, Bravus is also recruiting 60 new-to-industry haul truck operator trainees, as well as hundreds of other experienced mining industry positions through our mining services contractor MacKellar Mining as we prepare to export first coal in the coming weeks.

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