Titans set for golden future
WAYNE Bennett says coaching rival Neil Henry can revive the Titans as a title force, as a top- secret NRL report revealed the club has a viable future on the Gold Coast.
On the eve of tonight’s Broncos- Titans derby at Suncorp Stadium, News Corp Australia obtained an NRL document drafted as part of a feasibility study into the Titans’ chances of survival in the Gold Coast market.
The dossier was prepared for the NRL’s head of club services Tony Crawford as the governing body prepared to take control of the Titans’ licence following the cocaine scandal in February.
For decades many have questioned whether a sporting team can thrive on the holiday strip after the Giants, Seagulls and Chargers all folded since Gold Coast’s entry to the big league in 1988.
But the specially commissioned NRL report concluded the Titans could establish a long- term footprint on the Gold Coast despite the sagas that have rocked the club.
The Titans face Brisbane tonight and are in danger of crashing to their second wooden spoon in five years, but Broncos coach Bennett hit out at suggestions the Coast should be relocated.
“There’s no reason why the Titans can’t succeed on the Gold Coast,” Bennett said.
“What that club has been through is so bloody unfair – I just hope people leave them alone and trust they will eventually get it right.
“I have a lot of faith in their CEO Graham Annesley, he’s an extremely capable administrator and I have a lot of time for their coaching staff Neil Henry and Terry Matterson.
“Those guys are decent people. Neil Henry is a good coach who needs time to turn the Titans around, but they have been handed a bloody poisoned chalice in the short- term.”
The NRL’s report found the Gold Coast housed one of league’s most fertile nurseries.
Henry conceded the Titans needed to lift their game to give fans faith in the brand.
“We’ve been on a constrained budget for a few years but there are areas we need to be better in,” he said. “We need to be competitive and play an attractive style of footy so when our fans come along, they will see resilience and a team showing pride in the jumper they are wearing.”
Bennett added: “The NRL has control of their licence now so they have all the resources in the world. The NRL won’t let them fail.”