We'll trust our gut on Bird: Titans boss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We'll trust our gut on Bird: Titans boss

By Wayne Heming 07/12/2009 05:40:39 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast went with their proven "gut" in signing Greg Bird and are confident he won't let them down, says the NRL club's chief executive Michael Searle.

Bird has had past off-field issues but Searle said the former Cronulla star had no doubt there can be no repeat as he returns to the NRL after a one season absence.

"Greg is acutely aware the good work this club has done has been on the back of hard work by the players and their families," said Searle, after announcing the signing on Monday.

"I asked Greg to provide a commitment to us that he won't disrespect that.

"I've asked him to engage in that and become a member of the Gold Coast community."

In its three-year history, Searle said the club had been involved in a number of key personnel decisions and the instincts shown by management including chairman and co-founder Paul Broughton had proven correct each time.

"Personally I knew John Cartwright was going to be a coach who was going to be strong and disciplined and a man who would one day lead us to success," said Searle.

"I also knew Preston Campbell was the right person to be the club's first signing.

"Mat Rogers at 31 had some troubles with the Wallabies but he loved the game of rugby league and the Gold Coast.

"We also knew (co-captains) Luke Bailey and Scott Prince were two men that we could trust to lead the club to where we wanted to be.

"And we knew Chris Walker was going to be a challenge but he was worth the investment.

"Three years on and what we know is this club is on the crest of an incredible wave."

The Titans did a lot of ground work before offering Bird a special four year deal in which the club can terminate his contract if he breaches any of the strict conditions of behaviour.

It comes after Bird successfully appealed against a conviction for recklessly wounding his girlfriend Katie Milligan.

The NRL approved the way the contract was structured.

Searle admitted their may be some fan backlash but added it would be sad if it that was the case given Bird's commitment to get involved with the Gold Coast community.

"This decision wasn't made lightly," said Searle.

"We spoke to all the senior players, the sponsors, community leaders and community groups, and we make this decision with clean hands.

"We're prepared to take the opportunity to offer a second chance to Greg Bird."

Bird said he liked what he saw in the Titans' approach.

"A lot of the work the Titans put forward about the community and what they do and about helping me deal with what I've been through impressed me," said Bird.

"They stood by me after what's been an awful time when they could have turned their back and taken the soft option."

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