Club legend says Titans have premiership credentials
He has seen first-hand how the Gold Coast reacts to a team that goes deep in September and former Titans great Ashley Harrison believes the current playing group have the potential to again capture the imagination by pushing for a premiership.
The Titans have won their past two games against the Sharks and Knights yet need to go up another gear when they face the Storm in a blockbuster double-header at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Expectations prior to the Telstra Premiership kicking off this year were that the Titans would improve on their eighth-place finish from last year and despite currently sitting in 12th position Harrison has no doubt that a fully fit playing group can go on a run in their 10th year of the NRL.
To celebrate the club's 10th year a 'Team of the Decade' will be unveiled at the club's Round 14 clash against the Warriors with Harrison nominated alongside Greg Bird, Ben Ridge, Luke O'Dwyer and Luke Swain as 'Lock Forward of the Decade'.
Joining the club in their second year in 2008, Harrison was a member of the team that qualified for the Preliminary Final in 2010 and believes that if the current squad can gather some winning momentum that the city will get behind them as they did seven years ago.
"It was a really memorable week and we had the town behind us and I think this group of players can get there again," Harrison told NRL.com.
"There's no question about that and that's all it will take to get the town behind the team again. Once you get the support of this place I'm sure it will stick.
"It showed [against Newcastle] that once we get some troops back they've got the talent to be able to win games and win them quite comfortably.
"I'm interested to see the next five or six weeks. If they can replicate what they did on the weekend they're back in the mix and once you're there it breeds confidence heading into the back end.
"If these boys can win the next couple of games everyone will start turning up to games again and make a bit of noise and see what happens from there."
Reluctant to put a timeline on the club's first premiership, Titans CEO Graham Annesley can certainly see the club's premiership window being prised open in the immediate future, the mere thought of a grand final appearance sending "shivers down my spine".
"There's no doubt that this city would go nuts if we were to appear in an NRL Grand Final," Annesley said.
"I don't dwell on it, I don't think about it but it would be magnificent for the city.
"It took Parramatta almost 40 years [to win a premiership], it took the Sharks 50 years; I don't have any doubt that it's not going to take anywhere near that for the Titans to win a premiership.
"This club has got premierships within its reach and I'm not talking about the long-term future. I think that those things are very achievable in the coming seasons. I'm very optimistic about the club's prospects both on and off the field."
Such confidence is news to the ears of current co-captain Ryan James who was a 19-year-old with four NRL games to his name when the Titans were bounced out a week shy of the grand final by the Roosters in 2010.
Gold Coast born and bred, James is desperate to rekindle the outpouring of support from local footy fans that manifested itself in the 2010 season and to a lesser extent last year.
"I've got a great love for the Gold Coast. I grew up in Tweed Heads and I just want to see the Titans get back to where it was," James told NRL.com.
"We've had a lot of great players in the past and I really think that this roster we can really build on and hopefully a couple of the boys look at extending and re-signing.
"The club's looking in great stead for the next couple of years."