No looking back ahead of Titans' 10th year
The 10th anniversary of a football club often serves as a time for reflection but Titans CEO Graham Annesley insists the focus is very much on the future as the club settles into its new permanent base at Parkwood International.
The finishing touches are now being put on the multi-million dollar and multi-purpose facility that will unite the football and administrative arms of the club for the first time in two years following the failed Centre of Excellence at Robina.
The Titans High Performance Centre will welcome the majority of the first grade squad for the first time on Thursday for testing with the players to take to their purpose-built training field on Monday for the official commencement of pre-season training.
Kicked out of their temporary facilities at the prestigious The Southport School following the drug scandal that engulfed the club, the Titans have spent the past two seasons sharing rudimentary facilities with the Burleigh Bears.
Rather than at the adjacent Miami Aquatic Centre recovery sessions will now take place in an on-site pool and ice bath facilities, field sessions will take place on a ground built to mirror the conditions at Cbus Super Stadium and video reviews will be conducted in state-of-the-art conference rooms.
The Titans High Performance Centre will receive its official unveiling on Tuesday, November 29 with both NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and ARLC Chairman John Grant in attendance and according to Annesley mark the beginning of an exciting next chapter in the club's history.
"It is a new chapter and it's a game-changer for us," Annesley said of the move into Parkwood.
"It is a 10-year celebration for us but in some ways the club's only 18 months old, since the NRL took over. We're focusing on the future and there's a lot we want to achieve.
"Whilst we'll pay due respect to the past we want to make sure that we're focused on the future."
Whilst the football team has been based at Burleigh these past two years, the administrative arm of the club has worked out of office space provided by Gold Coast City Council, first at the council building at Bundall and then across the road after the council chambers were demolished as part of the Gold Coast Arts Centre redevelopment.
Despite being separated by some 15 kilometres the football team qualified for the NRL Finals Series for the first time in six years and the sponsorship, membership and marketing teams have achieved great success with 2017 membership tracking ahead of budget.
"It has been difficult," Annesley conceded.
"Everyone has coped and the fact that we have performed so well on the field in 2016 just shows that everyone was absolutely committed to the task.
"Having football and admin in separate locations is not ideal, it meant that there were often communication issues that had to be overcome so having us all under the same roof will completely reunify the club.
"We're really confident that that's going to give us an enormous boost but ultimately it comes down to the players and how they prepare and what they do on the field and that's Neil Henry's job.
"To bring everyone together under the same roof, reunify the football and the admin in brand new facilities with our own dedicated football field right outside the door is a massive boost for the club."
Upgrading from the second-tier facilities they have been forced to train in for two seasons will not only allow the existing squad to reach their potential but prove a major drawcard for potential recruitment targets in future.
Kiwi international Kevin Proctor is the latest to commit long-term to the Titans and 22-year-old half Kane Elgey has no doubt that the quality of the facilities they will now have access to plays an important role.
"The new facility is going to be a good start and I think that's attracting a few more players," said Elgey, who missed the entire 2016 season through injury.
"Hopefully we can keep going well and the Gold Coast gets behind us."