By Brady Foray Writers
With the quality of players the Gold Coast Titans signed last season it was quite surprising how poorly they went. Jamal Idris, Luke Douglas, Nate Myles and Beau Champion were shipped up north last season with high expectations, expectations that were never quite reached. For instance, the club managed to win just two of their first nine games and finished the season with a lone win in the last five rounds. While the club somehow managed to enter the top eight at stages last year, they never really challenged the top clubs and ended the season at a justified 11th.
Now the Titans are faced with a conundrum in 2013. Having only signed Dave Taylor, Albert Kelly and Brad Takairangi for this season, the clubs depth will be tested severely thanks to the losses of Bodene Thompson, Brenton Lawrence, Dominique Peyroux, Michael Henderson, Beau Champion and Scott Prince. With Prince being the most influential player at the club since its inception, the man to fill the halfback position is no closer to being decided by coach John Cartwright. Prince’s shock defection to the Broncos leaves a massive hole. Take into account the poor form of the Titans’ Holden Cup side over previous years and it could well be a long season up on the Gold Coast.
Signings: Dave Taylor (Rabbitohs), Mark Ioane (Raiders), Matthew Russell (Wigan), Marmin Barba (Eels), Brad Takairangi (Roosters), Albert Kelly (Knights), Jordan Atkins (Eels)
Departures: Bodene Thompson (Tigers), Phil Graham (retired), Scott Prince (Broncos), Brenton Lawrence (Sea Eagles), Dominique Peyroux (Warriors), Michael Henderson (Dragons), Kayne Lawton (Sea Eagles), Beau Champion (Rabbitohs), Joe Vickery (Leeds), Jack Goodsell (Roosters)
Key to Success:
While it only took a couple of rounds for the Titans to find a suitable replacement in Aidan Sezer (pictured left) for the retired Preston Campbell last season, the search for Prince’s halfback replacement lingers.
In Kelly, Henry and the club’s youngest ever debutant Jordan Rankin within their ranks, the club is not short in candidates. It’s up to Cartwright to select who is the most appropriate for the club . Without a suitable and consistent halfback this season the club will find themselves in the bottom eight for the third consecutive year.
Player to Watch:
The Gold Coast Titans have an abundance of world class forwards in their rank nowadays in Greg Bird, Luke Bailey, Nate Myles, Ashley Harrison and Dave Taylor. This influx of forwards may see some get lost among the shuffle. Say for instance foundational player Mark Minichiello, who may find himself struggle to find a place in the starting side for the first time since the club’s inaugural 2007 season. Minichiello (pictured right), who averaged 20.8 tackles and a tick under 100 metres per game, will be looking to solidify his place in the starting thirteen of the club he’s helped build from the ground up.
Erratic Eddy says:
“Eddy cannot believe the chances Albert Kelly has received of late. Released from the Knights for smashing a window at Newcastle’s finest and classiest establishment, Fannys (Rest in Peace, Fannys), the Gold Coast Titans swooped to buy the pesky playmaker straightaway. Why oh why, Titans?”
Strongest 17: 1-William Zillman 2-Kevin Gordon 3- Steve Michaels 4- Jamal Idris 5- David Mead 6- Aidan Sezer 7- Jordan Rankin 8- Luke Bailey 9-Matt Srama 10- Nate Myles (C) 11- Dave Taylor 12- Greg Bird (C) 13-Ashley Harrison Interchange: 14- Beau Falloon 15- Mark Minichiello 16- Luke Douglas 17- Ryan James. 18th Man: Ben Ridge.
Predicted Position: 12th