Searle greets Preston retirement talk

RETIREMENT talk from Preston Campbell was music to the ears of Gold Coast Titans boss Michael Searle.

In fact, Searle would have been concerned if Campbell was not considering pulling the pin following the Titans' pre-season program.

After beginning the year hinting that 2009 may be his last, Campbell appeared to complete a remarkable backflip when he recently declared he had “at least” two more seasons left in him.

That wish has been granted with a two-year contract extension all but finalised for the fullback.

But Searle could see Campbell's dramatic change of heart coming a mile off.

“I have found that retirement messages from players at the start of the season just reflects that they have had an intense off-season, and mentally they are fatigued,” Searle said.

“If you have a guy at that age who isn't saying that, the off-season has been too soft - that's my view.“

Searle's gut feeling proved spot on.

Campbell, who turns 32 on Sunday, has turned back the clock in 2009, showing vintage form to help keep the Gold Coast in sight of a finals debut.

Searle said a two-year contract extension would be finalised once Campbell eventually went through it.

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