27 Sep 40/20 Vision with Scott Prince
The Titans’ move to Coomera is exactly what this club needs.
In fact that move is better than staying at Robina and better than the suggested joint venture with the Suns at Carrara.
The reason: the Titans need to win back the Gold Coast and more importantly they need to win back working-class Gold Coast.
Coomera is a great suburb with lots of different aspects and attractions. But when I drive through suburban Coomera I get the feeling that I am in the heart of working-class Gold Coast – mums and dads who are building a life for themselves and their families.
And Coomera is families. It is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia. Talk to any major sporting association on the Gold Coast – league, union, soccer, rules, touch, netball – and they will tell you how playing numbers have exploded in Coomera in recent years.
The Titans will be in the middle of, aligned with and more accessible to these families. The message of the move will reverberate through the rugby league community and beyond.
This isn’t a case of a team opting for some cut-price solution. This is a team going back to its roots.
I remember when I first started at the Titans. The debut year, 2007. We were a new team, but our playing and training conditions were far from flash.
Our players’ HQ was a donga at the Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre. The gym was a makeshift hot box where Billy Johnstone was in his element. Our admin was in the middle of Southport and we played out of the run-down Carrara Stadium (pre-the Gold Coast Suns).
And you know what. We loved it … not the facilities, but the camaraderie that evolved. There was no Gold Coast glitz and glamour to our preparation. We were truly working class.
Out of that came a no-frills, tough playing philosophy.
Jump a couple of years forward and we moved into the state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence beside the stadium at Robina.
This was heaven. This was a player’s dream. Everything was on tap to create the perfect preparation and playing conditions. And the results came quickly. Finals in 2009 and 2010.
A lot of things have happened in the past four years. Very little involving on-field success for the Titans.
However what has happened has been a part disengagement from the Gold Coast community. Again, a number of reasons for this.
But going back to the heartland and training out of a facility that is more modest than spectacular is probably a good thing. You think you are doing the right thing by giving players the best possible training arena, but in some ways does this make them less grounded.
When I trained at the Broncos just last year I remember the weights rooms being archaic. Were these the same weights the King Wally Lewis used more than 25 years ago?
When I was at the Tigers our ice bath was a cut-down wheelie bin full of ice with a plastic chair beside it to get in and out.
Yet both these clubs enjoyed great success with those same facilities.
Players need good preparation, but they also need to know who they are, who they are playing for and for their feet to be firmly on the ground.
I take my hat off to Beau Falloon and applaud his selection as the Gold Coast Titans Player of the Year, announced this week.
I have a big opinion of Falloon. He is a class player and a great bloke.
I remember playing alongside him in a trial against the Broncos at the Burleigh Bears in the 2012 pre-season. We were on our line and under the pump.
On several occasions Falloon jumped forward and punished the big Brisbane ball-carriers with tough defence. I recall thinking what a great addition he would be for that season. Unfortunately he was injured early and we saw little of him that year.
Falloon is a classic number nine. He plays above his weight and is courageous in defence. But it is his attack that stands out from a halfback’s point of view.
He loves nothing more than to dart out from dummy half. That’s great because it immediately gets the opposition on the back foot and also puts them in two minds – will he pass or will he run?
Well done Beau. I hope 2015 is an even bigger one for you.
As far as the finals go. I am warming to the Panthers. Massively underrated, but playing the complete team game. No stars, just 17 blokes doing their job.