Titans trainer heading back to Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans trainer heading back to Cowboys

09/07/2008 01:38:32 PM Comments (0)

Renowned fitness trainer Billy Johnstone will return to NRL club North Queensland after knocking back offers from English Premier League soccer clubs.

The Gold Coast Titans have confirmed they would release Johnstone from the final year of his contract with the club.

He will remain with the Titans for the rest of the season before linking with the Cowboys, where he will be reunited with Neil Henry.

Johnstone was head trainer during the Cowboys' push to the 2005 NRL grand final when Henry was an assistant to North Queensland coach Graham Murray.

Current Canberra mentor Henry takes over the Cowboys head coach job next season.

Titans managing director Michael Searle said the club did not want to stand in Johnstone's way.

"I've had a great personal relationship with Billy over the past 20 years and I really appreciate what he's done in helping establish discipline and a strong culture at the club," he said.

"But we didn't want to hold him back given he's received opportunities elsewhere."

Johnstone - who has been with the Titans since their inception - will be replaced by his current Gold Coast assistant Chris McLellan.

McLellan has agreed to a three-year deal and will be assisted by former Gold Coast Giants player Danny Burgess.

Johnstone is believed to have contemplated offers from English Premier League clubs before opting for the more tropical climes of Townsville.

"Billy has been an important part of setting up the club - he'll be missed and we wish him well," said Titans coach John Cartwright.

Johnstone - a former Gold Coast, Canterbury and St George hooker - is also in demand with rep teams - he has toured with the Kangaroos and is the current Queensland trainer.

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