Former Chargers stars back Titans
Two members of the final Gold Coast Chargers team have thrown their support behind the Titans as the club attempts to move on from serious drug allegations levelled at five members of the current squad.
Preston Campbell and Scott Sattler were there on August 22, 1998 when the Chargers went down 20-18 to Cronulla at Carrara Stadium, with Campbell going on to create a unique piece of history by playing in the Titans' very first game on March 18, 2007.
The scoreline that day? A 20-18 loss to the Dragons.
Over the past eight years Sattler and Campbell have both worked in the administration of the club at different stages and are saddened to see the future of the Titans brought into question due to the actions of a group of players.
Sattler spoke glowingly of the influence of current Titans CEO Graham Annesley, chairwoman Rebecca Frizelle and major shareholder Darryl Kelly and said they need to find players willing to embrace the changes necessary to rebuild the club's tattered reputation.
"Being a guy who played there for six years and who has been involved in administration at the Titans, it saddens me to see the state that the game is in at NRL level on the Gold Coast," Sattler told NRL.com.
"People are often critical of me on the Gold Coast because I've got so much to say about it but it's because I'm so passionate about the game on the Gold Coast and I want to see it succeed.
"When you're a club that has so many negatives going for it at the moment in the public eye, you've got to want to change. You've got to want to change if you want to find success and I think they've got the people there that want to change.
"The next thing you've got to have around you are people who want to embrace that change and in light of these recent allegations, it's quite obvious there are some players who aren't in a position to embrace any sort of positive change at the club because they've proven, if the allegations are true, that they're self absorbed and haven't got the best interests of the club at heart.
"There are people there that want to make positive change, it's now about fine-tuning and going through and identifying the people that want to get on the same ride and take that ride with you and those that aren't going to embrace it and put a roadblock against it."
Speaking during All Stars week when the Gold Coast's commitment to the concept was continually brought into question, Campbell said he was at a loss to explain the current downturn but believes a winning football team would cure many ills.
The first four years of the Titans saw home crowds average in the top four in the NRL each year, and through 11 rounds last season they were averaging 15,200 at Cbus Super Stadium despite losing four of their first six games at home.
Their final average home crowd figure of 13,196 placed them 11th in the NRL last season and Campbell is hopeful that if they can make a positive start the good news they so desperately crave will soon follow.
"I can't put my finger on it. It's one of those things, if they're winning games obviously it's going to be a lot easier," Campbell said.
"The competition, if you want to call it that, with the AFL up the road, they've been improving every year but it's one of those things, we just need to win I think. Get the fans back and people will start talking more positively about us.
"South-east Queensland needs something here. They've had the Giants, they've had the Seagulls and now we've got the Titans. It's 2015; if we can't keep a team on the Gold Coast there's something really wrong."
The history of first-grade teams on the Gold Coast is indeed a chequered one but Sattler was quick to point out the reasons behind the demise of the Chargers, and insisted the area can run a successful club.
"Everyone keeps saying that the Chargers was a failure, which it wasn't," Sattler said. "It was collateral damage from Super League and was a club that financially finished with money in the bank, which a lot of clubs can't hang their hat on."