Gold Coast Titans must claim an identity to fulfil club’s potential

The battle to save the Gold Coast Titans starts today, and every person at the club has a role to play in creating a culture, defining an identity that will keep the franchise alive, writes ANTHONY GRIFFIN.

The Gold Coast Titans require more than a new head coach. The franchise needs an identity, a soul.

Since the inception of the Club in 2007 there have been pockets of relative success over 12 seasons.

Finals appearances in 2009, 2010 and most recently in 2016 have interrupted eight years of bottom four finishes and a wooden spoon in 2011.

As it stands today, they are without a coach and running last. It’s difficult for anyone, particular those involved in the club to confidently identify what’s gone wrong in the past and what the solutions are for the future.

The sacking of Garth Brennan is an example of this. Less than two years ago he was fast tracked into the role only to be removed this week.

Once again, the game and everyone who follows it is looking at the Gold Coast and not sure where the franchise is going and what it stands for.

That’s not a criticism, it’s the reality of the situation.

The chairman said as much earlier in the week when he expressed concerns about the future of the club. For mine, the club has all the right fundamentals to be a success in the NRL. However, some immediate tough decisions need to make.

Garth Brennan’s exit was just the latest danger sign for the club. Image: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Garth Brennan’s exit was just the latest danger sign for the club.

The NRL, like all professional sports competitions around the world, is a brutal business. The ruthlessness of the environment can challenge your self-belief whether you are a coach, player or administrator.

Taking on these brutal challenges is how you survive. This is an opportunity for everyone involved in the club, from the owners and the board down, to come together and take on the current situation head-on.

The key is to narrow your focus and set some simple standards that will underpin your behaviour.

Right now, the simpler the better. Start from the start about what’s important to you and what you believe in.

This can be a simple as punctuality and extras, whether you are a player, coach or staff member.

Day by day the collective selflessness of your club builds.

The grey areas of the organisation begin to disappear, and the team starts to play for each other.

There might not be immediate results on the scoreboard, however the performances will begin to create an identity within the team and the club.

This identity gives everyone a sense of hope and belonging — not the least the members and supporters.

They start to feel safe that when they pay their money and front up to a game, they know what to expect from their team.

Realising potential is crucial to the club’s survival. Image: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Realising potential is crucial to the club’s survival.

The Titans have some long-term challenges in regard to footprint and survival.

They are actually in a position of strength on both of these issues, which can be enhanced by emerging successfully out of the current predicament.

There has been some commentary about them being a development club.

Development of juniors is important for any club but for the Titans the immediate future is the priority.

They need to start performing together now — today at training — this weekend against the Storm.

What role will Mal Meninga play in the next stage? Image: Glenn Hampson
What role will Mal Meninga play in the next stage?

Brick-by-brick they can build performances based on standards and self-belief. They have a lot of good people in their club with a lot of potential.

Up until now most of that potential has been at an expense not a return on investment. For the sake of the club and those with the unearthed potential, this needs to change sooner rather than later, and it can, very quickly in the right environment.

The Gold Coast Titans are extremely important for rugby league in Queensland and the NRL. The club has a future, possibly a bigger one then most people give them credit for.

First though they must find their soul.

A new coach will come in but some of the answers lie with those already there.

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