The North Queensland Cowboys are planning a possible raid on Brisbane’s playmaker stock while they look for Jake Clifford’s replacement for next season

Trainer Todd Payten has overturned the Cowboys’ bold recruiting plans after Clifford signed an off-season deal with the Knights slated to begin in 2022

Last week there were reports of aspiring Broncos center-back Tom Dearden who flew to Townsville to tour the Cowboys’ facilities

Speaking to 7News, Payten noted that Dearden isn’t the only playmaker of the rival Cowboys’ club on his radar

“We need to be on the lookout for players to take this seat next year,” he said of Clifford’s halfback shirt

“Tom Dearden is available, (Anthony) Milford is available, so we’ll get into that over the next few weeks”

Milford’s form, which costs five-eighths of a million dollars in Brisbane, has been in decline since the Broncos’ 2015 season, when they were minutes away from a Premier League and ironically lost to the Golden Dot Cowboys

The vicious playmaker is out of contract at the end of this season, and Kevin Walters has set out his plans for evaluating Milford’s contract after seeing his performances this year

While Clifford won’t be there next year, Cowboys fans don’t have to wait until 2022 to see Payten rock the team’s attack

The newly arrived trainer hinted that Origin star Valentine Holmes may not be the No. wearing 1 this season

Holmes was lured back from the NFL to the NRL by the Cowboys who sealed the former Premier League-winning Shark with a big money deal to play fullback last year

“The only person who has a guaranteed full-back is the one who can best organize our line,” said Payten

“He (Holmes) played wing and middle, as did Hamiso (Tibuai-Fidow) and (Scott) Drinkwater in fifth place and full-back”

As one of the five coaches heading to a new club ahead of their inaugural season, Payten’s appointment with the Cowboys who missed the final in the past three seasons is very excited

Hailed for his influence as the Warriors’ interim coach in a COVID-19 hit season last year, Payten wants to instantly improve the way the Cowboys play

“We need to get away from the defensive end faster, get off the line, pull back and make more positive decisions. There was a whole new defense system


World news – AU – Tom Dearden, Anthony Milford on Cowboys Radar as part of Todd Payten’s great upheaval