Myles the man for Titanic crisis
In something of an uncertain world Nate Myles has been the man to hold the Titans players together in their time of crisis, despite the heartbreaking struggle he is enduring also in his personal life.
While the foundations of the club have been ripped up, forensically investigated and are now painstakingly being put back into place, Myles has remained a steadfast presence. When he leads his team onto Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday night he will have 16 teammates at his back willing to do anything for their leader.
He may have been promoted to the role as outright captain somewhat by default courtesy of the stripping of Greg Bird's co-captaincy in December but if this horrendous off-season has shown the Gold Coast anything is that in Myles they have a figure capable of uniting a playing group reeling from numerous off-field indiscretions.
As his club threatened to fall apart around him Myles also had the pain of watching his wife, actress Tessa James, endure 12 bouts of chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma, her final treatment coming last week in the midst of the drug allegations rocking the club.
With the possibility of three senior players missing from the Round 1 clash with the Wests Tigers the presence of Myles has never been more important and teammates such as Daniel Mortimer have been in awe of how the 29-year-old has conducted himself in such difficult circumstances.
"He's a great leader. Everyone deserves a win but there's no more deserving than Nate to go off after a nice win on Saturday," Mortimer said.
"With a young squad of players coming through everyone really looks up to him and he's taken that role on board, especially last week. He's got a lot of stuff personally going on that I think you don't notice when he's at training or on the field because he is so professional and he can just knuckle down and switch his mind on.
"His words are great, he's a very intelligent fella but it's more his actions and attitude that he shows on the field and at training that you really feed off.
"They're the leaders you want, the guys that show you how to do it rather than tell you how to do it."
Gold Coast product Ryan James carries himself in such a way that he has been stamped as a future leader at the Titans but says he has a long way to go to be even mentioned in the same tones as Myles.
"You can only dream to be someone like Nate Myles," James said. "He's a great leader and to have someone like that around the club and to be around every day is a great thing to aspire to but Nate's played a lot of representative footy and I just want to get out there and play for my local team at the moment.
"Everything he does is very professional and just the way when he approaches the group everyone just stops and drops and listens to what he has to say. Not many people can do that.
"For something like that (Tessa's illness) to happen, for him to be at training for the majority of the time... I think he's only missed 12 sessions for the 12 chemo treatments that he's been to... He's just a strong bloke and good to have around."
When the club made the decision to relieve Bird of the co-captaincy it left Titans coach Neil Henry with a decision to make as to the leadership structure of the club.
As vice-captain, William Zillman retains a critical role in the leadership group but Henry said it is Myles who is the primary sounding board for the playing squad.
Off-contract at the end of the season, Henry is hopeful that the club can retain Myles and see that he finishes his NRL career on the Gold Coast.
"He's been a tower of strength. What Tessa is going through is tough and tough on him but he's professional. He turns up and gets the job done, trains hard, contributes to training, contributes to our team talks," Henry said.
"He's carried on under a fair bit of duress and he's been able to focus on his football and then focus on his home life as well.
"It can be quite a stressful time but he doesn't show that when he comes to training. He is able to separate that, get in, get the job done and be positive around the boys. It's a credit to him that he's been able to do that.
"His management will be making some enquiries about what we're going to do in due course and I'd hope that we can tie him up and he finishes his career here.
"That might be two, three or four years, who knows, but hopefully we can keep him on board. He's really settled in the area, he and his wife Tessa, and hopefully they stay here."