Gould's lessons for Titans mentor Brennan
Gold Coast Titans coach Garth Brennan is his own man but the way he approaches his new role will be guided by the rugby league philosophy and ethos of Phil Gould.
Brennan, who coached NYC, NSW Cup and junior sides with success at the Newcastle Knights and Penrith Panthers for 15 years, has certainly done his apprenticeship before recently getting the top gig at the Titans.
For six of those seasons he learned plenty about the intricacies of the sport while working under Gould, the executive general manager at the Panthers.
"The big thing I take from Gus is his passion," Brennan told NRL.com.
"When he talks about football he can be very vocal at times, but that is only because he cares about the state of the game and he cares about his players and his staff. He is very close to his players and those that played under him all love him.
"That is something I have always prided myself on – that I care about my players and I care about the game and the way we play.
"There was so much I learned off Gus, from man management to different attacking styles."
Brennan, like Gould, has maintained a close bond with the players he has coached.
He used to coach Tyrone Roberts, Will Smith and the Mata'utia brothers and has stayed in close contact with them.
Brennan was able to forge a long-distance bond with Titans playmaker Ash Taylor – a key reason why the club's star halfback re-signed for four years – and has already lured Mitch Rein and Leilani Latu from the Panthers.
Brennan has vowed the Titans will play an expansive style which will keep the turnstiles clicking over. A brand of football he said Gould would endorse.
"Gus is very critical of the way a lot of teams play the same way and how it is like watching a chess game, and I'm the same," he said.
"I hate the block-for-block shape and we won't be playing that style here.
"There are some clubs, I'm not going to name them, that I can't even watch. They bore me to tears.
"My philosophy is that I want to play an attractive style of football that is as exciting to play as it is to watch. We are in the entertainment industry."
Talk to Brennan for any length of time and you soon realise he is a league tragic.
Coaching is a passion and not a profession for him.
"I heard Peter Sterling say on radio a long while ago that when you follow your passion and make it your job you never work a day in your life," he said.
"That is what I have lived by. To do something I love is not a job for me. My passion has always been rugby league. I've done it since I was five years of age."
Brennan was a police officer for 18 years and held numerous roles in uniform, plain clothes, undercover and as a detective. He finished his service as a police prosecutor.
"And when I was working in the coppers I was still coaching in the afternoon," he said.
"I'd work in the courts and go home and change into my football gear and coach the kids in the afternoon."
The 45-year-old mentor has inherited a Titans squad which has lost Jarryd Hayne before a ball has been kicked.
"There is still quality within the squad. I didn't recruit Kevin Proctor, Konrad Hurrell or those sorts of players but I am quite happy they are in my team," Brennan said.
"Some people have written us off, and that is fine by me.
"I am working with these guys on a daily basis and I know what they are capable of doing, and I think we might be able to surprise a few teams and a few people this season.
"I am not going to say we are going to make the eight, we are going to make the four or we are going to win it.
"We are going to train hard, play hard and be a hard team to beat. If we do all those things we will end up where we deserve to end up.
"I didn't come here to fail. I think we have a decent roster that we can improve in a few areas where we need to."
Brennan will recruit "the right players and the right people", footballers he said who wouldn't tarnish the Gold Coast Titans brand.
"First of all, they have to be good people," he said.