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Coote well suited to Cowboys life

AAP logoAAP 25/10/2016 Ian McCullough

Lachlan Coote admits he feared being squeezed out of North Queensland last year and was resigned to returning to Sydney before coach Paul Green intervened to keep him in Townsville.

The 2015 grand final-winning fullback was top of the Sydney Roosters' wanted list as a long-term replacement for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who left for the Warriors last year, and looked set to swap tropical North Queensland for Sydney's eastern suburbs.

However, when Green assured him that he was part of his long-term plans and vowed to do everything in his power to keep him, the former Penrith star - who'll represent Scotland at the Four Nations - said he was never going anywhere,

"There was a few Sydney clubs interested but it was always my intention to stay at the Cowboys," Coote told AAP.

"At at the start of the year there was no sign of a contract being offered and I was a bit worried and seriously considering me and the family would have to move back to Sydney.

"Finally they came to the table and I had no hesitation in signing. I love living up there in Townsville and playing in a great team so it was an easy decision."

It was the emergence of Matt Moylan, who ironically he'll play opposite when Scotland take on the Kangaroos on Friday, that accelerated his departure from Penrith at the end of 2013 despite a year still remaining on his contract.

His exit was part of a fire sale of high-earning representative players Luke Lewis, Tim Grant and Michael Gordon who Panthers general manager Phil Gould offloaded to reduce the club's wage bill.

Coote admits being told he wasn't wanted at the club he'd debuted for at 19 hurt, but realises now it was the best move for both parties.

"You try to not take it personally because it's a business but I was heartbroken," he said.

"I wanted to play there my whole career having grown up in the area and being a local junior.

"But, I gave me the chance to play with Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Jimmy Tamou, Michael Morgan and guys like that and we won a GF.

"Even though it was the furthest move away from home, it was the best one in terms of my football career, and I've no regrets."

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