NRL boss David Gallop congratulates Gold Coast franchise managing director Michael Searle at last night?s official unveiling of
NRL boss David Gallop congratulates Gold Coast franchise managing director Michael Searle at last night?s official unveiling of

Titans target finals

By ADAM WRATTEN

THE Gold Coast's incoming NRL club is targeting a finals appearance within three years.

In one of the worst-kept secrets in football, the franchise last night announced the team would be called the Gold Coast Titans at a gala function at Robina Town Centre.

The new club logo, pictured right, was also unveiled.

Managing director Michael Searle was among those who promised the Titans were not going to go down the same path as previous Gold Coast failures.

In mapping out the club's future, Searle said the Titans:

l Would have home crowds of at least 15,000-16,000 in its first year;

l Had secured a lucrative four-year deal with Reebok to produce their playing strip;

l Was ahead of schedule in recruiting players; and

l Had identified the Tweed and Northern Rivers as core supporter bases, with plans to market heavily in these areas.

Searle said the new name Titans, which polled 44 per cent of more than 44,000 on-line votes beating out names such as Pirates and Stingers, would "unite" the region.

"We are over the moon with the name," Searle said.

"This name came from the people."

"It represents everything we want, strength, passion and size.

He said the on-field benchmark was finals football within three years, with a top-12 finish in its debut season.

This is despite Gold Coast predecessors _ the Giants, Seagulls and Chargers _ only managing one finals appearance in 11 attempts between 1988 and 1999.

He was also confident the club could surpass the NRL average of crowds between 15,000 and 16,000 for home games.

"The demographics of the whole region show we are the fastest growing area in Australia," Searle said..

"Some 52 per cent of the population are under 34. The people are passionate ... we deserve a rugby league team in this area."

The Tweed and Northern River areas were "unique markets".

"The Tweed is a different market to the Gold Coast and again from Ipswich," Searle said.

"The one thing they all have though is the desire for a rugby league team in the area.

"We will have a strong presence in the area, with strong junior development programs and (making sure our) brand is out there.

"The players will also be active in the community."

The club also launched its new website, www.titans.com.au, last night. In coming weeks fans will be able to vote for the club's jersey on this website.



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