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Culture and identity: Smith's words of wisdom for Titans

Queensland legend Cameron Smith has urged Gold Coast Titans officials to follow the lead of the Melbourne Storm and reconnect with the club’s past so that they can forge a successful future.

To finish off a week of more turmoil for the Gold Coast club, Smith’s Storm outfit bounced back after conceding two early tries to easily account for the Titans 38-18 on Sunday despite being without five of their Origin stars.

As is the Storm way, fringe first-graders came in and performed the duties expected of them but it was perhaps on the sidelines where the difference between the two clubs was even more stark.

Jason Ryles, Ryan Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hoffman are all part of the Melbourne coaching structure that also includes specialist coach Billy Slater, who has imparted some of his mercurial magic onto Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Scott Drinkwater since retiring.

A cornerstone of the Storm pack in Craig Bellamy's first year at the helm in 2003, Peter Robinson continues to work in player welfare at the club while club legends such as Robbie Kearns have held positions within the commercial department after retiring.

People within the four walls here know what they're about, they just need the right people who live and breathe that identity every day

Cameron Smith

More than a sharing of skill and tactical insights, the proliferation of former Storm players within the organisation helps to entrench a culture that is the envy of every other sporting franchise in the country.

In the wake of Garth Brennan’s sacking little more than a week ago, NRL.com implored Titans powerbrokers to bring legends such as Scott Prince, Preston Campbell and Nathan Friend back into the fold, a view shared by perhaps the most influential rugby league player of all time.

"I was just speaking with [Titans football manager] Anthony Laffranchi and it's nice to see a former player of the Gold Coast Titans, someone that came here and established the Titans,” Smith told NRL.com.

"They were quite successful in the years that he was a player here.

“To have some people involved in the organisation that know the fabric of the place and the culture of the place and what they're about is important.”

Every try from Round 18

The club is in the early stages of its process to appoint the next head coach with names bandied about with varying levels of coaching experience.

At the same time as he expressed his desire to one day coach in the NRL, interim senior coach Craig Hodges expressed the need to put things in place over the next eight weeks that will provide the grounding for a successful Titans team in future.

According to Smith, an integral aspect in the search for a new coach must be finding someone who identifies with the qualities that the club was initially built upon.

"I think they know who they are,” Smith said when asked whether the Titans were suffering from an identity crisis.

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“People within the four walls here know what they're about, they just need the right people who live and breathe that identity every day.

“Any successful club has stability. That comes in stability in the playing group, it comes in stability in the coaching ranks, and above in the administration. They've made some good moves in appointing Mal overseeing the whole football department.

"It's been said by many people already that the next decision of who is going to be head coach here is the biggest decision that's going to shape this club for the future.”

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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