New owners, new coach... A new start for the Titans?
New owners, new coach... A new start for the Titans?

No Hayne, no worries for 2018 Titans

THE Titans endured a true year from hell in 2017. Everything that could go wrong did, everything that couldn't go wrong got injured.

The finals appearance in 2016 seemed so far away as they lurched into a disaster of a season. They'll have a different look to them in 2018 with Jarryd Hayne and Neil Henry out the door and here's five reasons their fans can be excited about next season.

 

No Hayne

Confession time - I was one of the people who thought Jarryd Hayne would be a great signing for the Titans. He didn't have to be great, I told myself, he just had to be OK. Hayne was blessed with the best spine of his career, everything was lined up for him to have an exciting and rewarding stint with the Titans, where he gave the club the kind of national relevance that has eluded them throughout their decade long history.

Jarryd Hayne is gone from the Titans and not a moment too soon.
Jarryd Hayne is gone from the Titans and not a moment too soon.

None of that happened. Hayne's first game with the club was thrilling and a big crowd showed up at Cbus Super Stadium. He kicked a dramatic field goal in the final seconds of a match against the Tigers a few weeks later. That was as good as it got, and from then he proved to be an albatross around the Gold Coast's neck as they lurched into a season of total disaster after making the finals 12 months before. Now he's gone, and that enough is good news.

New owners

There's an old saying out there about winning starting in the front office. Gold Coast have been embroiled in a variety of administrative debacles throughout their history but with the recent purchase of the club by a consortium led by Darryl Kelly and Rebecca Frizelle the club is out of administration and once again controls their own destiny. Will the new owners be the right choice? Maybe, maybe not. But at least the club has some direction and a plan for the future.

Taylor locked down

The word round the campfire was that Ashley Taylor was signed, sealed and delivered for the Broncos. After a strong sophomore campaign backing up his rookie of the year season in 2016, Taylor has fully emerged as one of the best up and coming halfbacks in the competition, if not one of the best halfbacks full stop. To lose him, and to a hated rival no less, would have been a hammer blow to a club that has worn too many in recent years.

But Taylor stayed. The Titans had to pay through the nose to keep him, but he stayed, and now the future seems so much brighter. Taylor's combination with Kane Elgey did not take off as anticipated last season, but the talent is still there. He is truly the kind of player the club can build around and retaining him was a stone cold coup for a club that badly needed a win.

 

New coach

The Titans certainly took their time in appointing Garth Brennan, running through a lengthy interview process before appointing the former Panthers lower grade coach. With a proven track record in NSW Cup and Under 20s, Brennan has the pedigree to succeed and has won premierships in both competitions.

Gold Coast Titan's coach Garth Brennan will aim to bring change to the club.
Gold Coast Titan's coach Garth Brennan will aim to bring change to the club.

Time will tell if Brennan is the right man for the job, but the relationship between Neil Henry, Jarryd Hayne and the playing group had seriously degenerated. A clean state and a fresh start was required, and the club will have that with Brennan's appointment.

 

Smart recruits

Gold Coast's two marquee purchases for 2018 are Michael Gordon and Leilani Latu. Neither of them are stars by any means, but both fill positions of need for the club. Gordon might be 34, but he's still safe as a bank and a canny operator at the back. The Tweed Heads junior is coming off a throwback season with the Roosters and is the kind of personality that can help change the culture at the Titans.

Michael Gordon will finish his career with the Gold Coast Titan. Picture: Jerad Williams
Michael Gordon will finish his career with the Gold Coast Titan. Picture: Jerad Williams

Latu fills a void at prop and between him, Wallace and incoming Broncos forward Jai Arrow the Titans have the foundation of a very handy middle. Mobile for his size but capable of getting through some serious work, Latu has been an underrated contributor for the last couple of seasons at Penrith. These kind of low risk, canny signings are the best way to build the club back up. Rarely does one big signing make the difference for a club - the small signings along the way pave the way for the marquee purchase.



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