Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The North Queensland Cowboys have announced two star Mackay recruits in the lead up to their inaugural NRLW season.
After a strong start in the Mackay Cutters first BMD Premiership season, Emma Manzelmann was unveiled as the first signing for the Cowboys with Jasmine Peters being announced soon after.
Born and raised in Mackay, Manzelmann returns to North Queensland after a premiership winning NRLW campaign with the Newcastle Knights as an integral signing for Cowboys’ maiden season.
“Growing up, there was not much women’s footy,” Emma said.
“Then when Cowboys said they were putting in a team, it was a dream and now that dream’s becoming true.”
The pathway between the Mackay Cutters BMD Premiership and North Queensland Cowboys NRLW squads has made itself apparent, with two players from the inaugural Cutters campaign signing with the North Queensland outfit ahead of their first season.
Emma Manzelmann began her football journey with the Walkerston Wanderers under 7s and by 2019 she was a member of the Queensland under 18s and the inaugural Cowboys Women’s Academy.
The current Cutters’ number 9 announced herself to the senior rugby league world with a stunning two try performance in the North Queensland Gold Stars’ first ever game in Round 1 of the 2020 BMD Premiership.
Emma returned to the Gold Stars for the 2021 season and was named Player of the Year after a sensational campaign, earning herself a contract with the Newcastle Knights for the delayed 2021 NRLW season.
Returning to the Gold Stars in 2022, the dynamic dummy half helped the team to premiership success before appearing in all seven 2022 matches for Newcastle in their march to grand final glory, Emma’s second premiership of the year.
Cowboys NRLW Head Coach Ben Jeffries said Emma was earmarked early in the recruiting process.
“Emma was always one of our main targets,” he said.
“She is an elite talent who is homegrown and came through our pathways system, which made her signature a priority.”
Fellow Mackay product and try scorer in the Gold Stars’ 2022 grand final victory Jasmine Peters also announced a three-year deal with the Cowboys on Monday.
Peters played her junior football for the Norths Mackay Devils before graduating to the Cowboys Women’s Academy and playing two NRLW seasons with the Gold Coast Titans.
“It’s hard to believe ‘Jaz’ is still just 20 when you consider she’s a three-time Indigenous All-Star, who also brings Queensland under 19s and NRLW experience,” Mr Jeffries said.
“Jasmine will be a prominent figure in our backline, with her powerful carries and I know she is determined to test herself against the best within the NRLW space as she pushes for higher honours.”
The Cowboys also announced the signing of Cairns’ Tahlulah Tillett, another member of the 2022 premiership winning Gold Stars squad, as they build towards their first campaign in the NRLW.
Mackay’s Emma Manzelmann was the first person to sign with the North Queensland Cowboys ahead of their inaugural NRLW season. Photo supplied: North Queensland Cowboys
Mackay Cutters captain Emma Manzelmann and backrower Jasmine Peters have signed with the North Queensland Cowboys. Photo credit: Sam Gillespie