Preston Campbell ends NRL career - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Preston Campbell ends NRL career

By Laine Clark 05/08/2011 05:23:27 PM Comments (0)

Days after admitting to doubts about a 2012 farewell, Gold Coast Titans veteran Preston Campbell announced on Friday he would draw the curtain on his NRL career at the end of the season.

Campbell had already changed his mind - twice - about his playing future.

And the 34-year-old sounded like a man having another change of heart when he attended the NRL's All Stars launch in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Asked about helping the lowly Titans rebuild in 2012, Campbell admitted he was having second thoughts.

"If there are any doubts it was the fact that we have a new-look team with younger blokes next year and the only doubt was if I was too old," he told AAP.

Close friend, Titans boss Michael Searle, also sensed a change in Campbell.

"We are pretty close and I had a rough feeling that he was (about to change his mind)," Searle told AAP.

"He is the sort of bloke who takes every day as it comes.

"And he has made up his mind that the time is right to move on to the next phase of his life.

"There was no sense in me trying to persuade him to do anything different.

"I will support whatever decision he makes.

"I am very proud that he has been able to do it on his own terms - it's very rare in professional sport these days."

The Titans are set to pick up the 2011 wooden spoon but won't be lacking firepower next season with the likes of Jamal Idris, Nate Myles, Luke Douglas and Beau Champion arriving.

The lure of helping the newcomers had initially made Campbell change his mind about retiring at the end of 2011.

"They are footballers but they have never been Titans," he said of the new arrivals.

"They have to learn about our structure and our culture - it is more than just playing football."

But Campbell will be grooming the prized recruits from the sidelines after telling his teammates on Friday morning he would take up an off-field role with the Titans next year.

Ending his glittering 14-year playing career will also help him concentrate on his community work with indigenous youth.

Campbell and Searle were the inspiration behind the All Stars concept which has grown into much more than the traditional NRL season opener.

NRL boss David Gallop said on Wednesday money raised by the 2011 game alone had helped clubs take education, reading, mentoring, leadership, goal-setting, health and welfare programs to more than 24,000 students of all cultural backgrounds.

"It's life changing, it's history changing - it's something I will tell my kids about and stress how important it is for them to carry on what I was doing," Campbell told AAP when asked about the All Stars concept.

Searle hoped his "warrior" received a fitting farewell in the Titans' final five games of 2011.

"What he has been able to achieve in rugby league has been phenomenal," Searle said.

"He's a warrior, there is no other way to describe him."

Meanwhile, the Titans have granted releases to Shannon Walker (Australian rugby sevens) and Joseph Tomane (ACT Brumbies), effective immediately.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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