Titans show big faith in coach Cartwright - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans show big faith in coach Cartwright

By Wayne Heming 15/02/2011 05:30:25 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast founder Michael Searle compared John Cartwright to greats Wayne Bennett and Phil Gould as he extended the foundation coach's tenure at the NRL club to nine years.

In a rare show of faith in the modern era, the Titans signed Cartwright for a further five years on Tuesday, keeping him at the Titans' helm until at least the end of the 2016 season.

"He (Cartwright) has that gravitas of Bennett and Gould. He's a man who epitomises all that is good about our club," said Searle.

"We said when we founded the club the appointment of the coach would be the biggest decision we make and Carty is the man we wanted."

Just two years after the NRL witnessed the biggest coaching merry go-round in its history, the Titans' glowing endorsement allows Cartwright the luxury to plan long-term even as he eyes an inaugural premiership that could come much sooner.

He steered the Titans to the finals in the last two of their four seasons and they were just one win away from the grand final last year when beaten by the Sydney Roosters.

"Having someone with John's personality is important, the fans know he's real, he gets his hands dirty," said club CEO Searle.

Like Bennett, who has seven NRL premierships on his CV - six with Brisbane and last year's drought-breaking title with St George Illawarra - Cartwright, has built his success on old-fashioned principles, innovation and great ability to instil belief in players and get the best out of them.

Bennett's next NRL contract should make him rugby league's first $1 million coach but Cartwright was more interested in a deal giving him time to achieve his goals with the young players the club have developed.

"It's very humbling to be honest in an industry where you don't see that type of deal all that often," said 45-year-old Cartwright who played 184 games for Penrith and 18 for Australia.

"It's a good feeling knowing Mike and (chairman) Paul (Broughton) have faith in what we're doing and have done.

"For me, it's good to have that security on a personal level and a football level because it gives you scope to keep building for our future.

"It's comforting to know I'm going to be there for that."

Off the field, Cartwright's emphasis on discipline has helped the Titans stay relatively free of "drama and scandal" which, given Gold Coast's reputation as a party capital, says a lot.

The Titans did have cause to suspend oft-troubled journeyman child Chris Walker in 2007 following an incident outside a nightclub but so far have been spared worse atrocities that have befallen other NRL clubs.

"He's largely responsible for this club not having any off-field incidents in the first four years," said Searle.

"If you had framed a market about that in 2007, I'm sure a lot of bookies would have been very happy because a lot of people would have taken the odds.

"It's been his commitment to discipline and the core values we all built together that seen him remain so strong."

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