'Gold Coast made me a better man'
Titans skipper Nate Myles says he will take a greater sense of perspective when he leaves the Gold Coast as a thumb injury threatens to keep him from playing in his final home game for the club against the Dragons at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday.
Close to 500 games of experience at the Titans will be farewelled at the end of the season with Myles, Matt White, Beau Falloon, Ben Ridge, Dave Taylor and Aidan Sezer all having played in excess of 50 games for the club.
In a tumultuous past 12 months for the Titans, Manly-bound Myles has been a tower of strength both on and off the field but credits the past four years on the Gold Coast with transforming him from a sometimes wayward soul into a man of character.
"Without doubt the Gold Coast has made me realise how fortunate I am to do this for a living," said Myles, who will be given every chance by coach Neil Henry to play his 76th game for the Titans on Sunday, his 52nd as captain.
"When I was in Sydney [playing for the Bulldogs and Roosters] I wasn't truly appreciating what I was doing.
"The tap on the shoulder to shuffle on and the opportunity that 'Searley' (former Titans CEO Michael Searle) and 'Carty' (former Titans coach John Cartwright) gave me here, I thank those two for accepting me and making it feel like home for me."
It will be fitting in Myles's last game at home if he is the one to lead the team out through a guard of honour formed by the Old Boys representing the four incarnations of Gold Coast first grade teams.
The 30-year-old would have fitted in nicely amongst the hard-heads of the 1970s and 1980s and says their presence alone will ensure he and his teammates give their all in front of the Titans faithful.
"It makes you want to perform because these guys are as tough as nails," said Myles of the men who preceded him on the Gold Coast.
"If you're not aiming up they certainly have the right to voice their opinion but the Old Boys is a great concept.
"I do appreciate the words that are spoken by these guys and so do all the other players.
"You like to think of it as a little bit of a group of its own who got to play first grade here on the Coast."
The fact that so many of the current Titans playing squad won't be at the club in 2016 provides some extra motivation for a team that will miss the finals for a fifth straight year.
Desperate to avoid a second wooden spoon, prop forward Luke Douglas said those who have given so much to the club in recent years deserve to walk off their home ground for the final time as victors.
"There are guys that have been here for a long time, put in a lot of time and effort and been great for the club," Douglas said.
"It is a big loss with some of them moving on and for me I know I'll be giving my all to send them out on the right note.
"Although we can't make the finals we can do a little bit of damage to teams that are hoping to pop in there.
"We're up for a big one. There's also the wooden spoon hanging over our heads too so a couple more wins and we'll get away from that."