Titans cherish finals appearance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans cherish finals appearance

By Wayne Heming 15/08/2009 01:16:03 PM Comments (0)

The Gold Coast Titans can finally say the "F" word out loud.

Their magnificent second-half shutdown of South Sydney on Friday for a 22-14 win has guaranteed the club an historic first NRL finals appearance.

"The coach will never say it," said amused Titans chief executive Michael Searle, preparing a case to vigorously defend fullback William Zillman against a biting allegation which soured the win.

"But I think it's fair to say the team has definitely made the top eight (finals) for the first time and that's a great thing for our city."

A former Gold Coast player, Searle was one of the people who spent six years behind the scenes working tirelessly to get the Titans into the NRL.

For them, it's a special moment.

"It's nice to know you are there, but we haven't popped any champagne corks to be honest," Searle told AAP.

"That's more a reflection of the organisation that you set goals and then when you achieve them, you re-set them.

"The team's reset its focus for what hopefully will be a home semi (top four).

"I'm comfortable the boys aren't getting too carried away with things because our coach is pretty level headed.

One thing Friday night's win should do, is take the pressure off the players now they know they've made the finals.

"Mentally it does and Carty (Cartwright) and I have spoken about that," said Searle.

"It puts you in a better mental position come finals time and the players aren't as stressed as some other teams who are waiting to learn if they've made it."

It's also a big boost for the Titans and rugby league on the Gold Coast which is facing a threat from soccer, with a team debuting in the A-League this year, and also the AFL when they field a side in 2011 which has already signed Brisbane international Karmichael Hunt.

"You have to be able to provide opportunities for local kids.

"David Mead and Kevin Gordon are both local kids who have become local heroes which is a brilliant thing.

"It's exciting to think we have a chance to let thousands of local kids come and watch their team play finals footy.

"We have got an incredible group of fans. They fought for six years to get a football team and I've got no doubt they will enjoy every moment of finals football, especially if we get a home final.

"It's be a long campaign for a lot of really passionate football fans and I think it's great if they can be rewarded with a home semi."

The Titans are currently in third place but can lock up a home semi final as early next weekend by beating the last placed Sharks.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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