Titans step it up
By ADAM WRATTEN
TITANS coach John Cartwright descended on the Gold Coast yesterday determined to mould the club into a premiership force.
Cartwright, formerly an assistant to Ricky Stuart at the Sydney Roosters, yesterday stepped into his role as head coach of the new National Rugby League franchise.
Having driven up from Sydney with his family in the morning, he last night attended the official launch of the club's name and logo at a gala function at Robina.
But while last night's unveiling of the club's new moniker was cause for celebration, Cartwright was under no illusions about the tough road ahead.
"You have to enjoy things like this but the honeymoon period does not last forever," Cartwright said.
"I've got to sit down with (Gold Coast managing director) Michael Searle and work out an action plan.
"We haven't even got training facilities or anything like that. I want to get a feel for the area and see what has to be done."
While the Titans have yet to establish a training base, they have been busy in the player market with Australian prop Luke Bailey and Great Britain winger Brian Carney among the club's first signings.
Tweed products Anthony Laffranchi and Luke O'Dwyer have also been recruited for the club's NRL debut in 2007 while Preston Campbell, Nathan Friend and Matt Petersen are also destined for the Gold Coast.
Cartwright revealed last night it was unlikely any more players would be signed this year but he did hint at popssible recruits.
"Basically this is my first day on the job," Cartwright said.
"But I had a lot of discussion with Michael and Scott Sattler on the players we selected."
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Among those in the Titans' sights is gun St George Illawarra fullback Clint Greenshields, who has in the past expressed a desire to join with the new franchise.
Greenshields, who hails from Coffs Harbour, yesterday signed a one-year deal with the Dragons, which would make him available to link up with the Titans for their debut season in 2007.
Searle yesterday confirmed he had spoken with Greenshield's management.
"He is one of the players that has been on our (wanted) list for about five months," Searle said.
"The coach is keen to see him have another season at the top level. But, he has passed the litmus test of the first year and shown his quality. "He's a quality fullback who is on our shortlist."
Meanwhile, almost 50,000 fans cast their votes in the bid to find a name for the new Gold Coast team with Titans beating out rival monikers Pirates and Stingers by a convincing margin.
The club was to be originally known as the Dolphins but a potential legal battle by Queensland Wizard Cup club Redcliffe forced officials to scrap the name.
"It's an important milestone for the Gold Coast and I'm sure that the Titans name will become a catch-cry for thousands of fans," NRL chief executive David Gallop said.
After securing a name, the Titans, who will use Queensland Wizard Cup clubs Tweed Heads, Burleigh and Ipswich as feeder sides, now begin their search for a jersey.
Fans will be able to vote on six new designs on the club's website, www.titans.com.au, with the winning entry expected to be released before Christmas.