Jason Demetriou is in the running for the Titans coaching job
Jason Demetriou is in the running for the Titans coaching job

Cooper's words a big boost for Demetriou's Titans chances

JASON Demetriou's Titans hopes have received a timely boost, with Queensland forward Gavin Cooper hailing the Broncos assistant for his ability to "get the best out of people".

With Demetriou locked in a race with front-runner Michael Maguire for the Gold Coast role, the backing of a bona fide NRL star could not be more opportune.

Demetriou, now Wayne Bennett's right-hand man at Brisbane, was Paul Green's deputy when Cooper and the Cowboys made club history with their 2015 premiership.

It continued Demetriou's legacy of success, one since built on with a NSW Cup title at Illawarra in 2016 before he played a key role in overhauling the Broncos attack last season.

Those results ultimately jetted the 41-year-old into the mix to replace Neil Henry at the Titans, with the club inching towards finalising their preferred candidate.

As revealed by the Bulletin last week, it's understood while other applicants have not yet been officially discounted, Maguire and Demetriou sit front and centre in the thinking of officials.

Praise of Demetriou's ability to handle a range of personalities will echo in the offices at Gold Coast given the notoriety of mercurial fullback Jarryd Hayne.

The former Super League star is known to have previously attracted all-star endorsements from Johnathan Thurston and Benji Marshall during his winding coaching journey.

"(Demetriou) has a good footy mind on him and that showed in the results he's had. But he knows how to get the best out of people," Cooper said.

"That's one of his strengths from his time here; he made those boys, especially those on the fringes, ready to play first grade.

"If he gets the job he has the ability to get the best out of people and to get them on the same page.

"From an outsider looking in that's what they need."

While wary of dishing out advice to a rival club, foundation Titan Cooper expressed his preference for a fresh set of eyes in a region crying out for success.

"Being a former Titan I know the local community wants to support the Titans but it's going to take some good performances and proof that they can make a mark," Cooper said.

"Queensland needs a strong team there and if they get the results the region will get behind them.

"A fresh set of eyes and a new approach to rugby league is a good idea.

"Yes, JD is inexperienced as a head coach but what he has done at every level is pretty remarkable.

"As someone who has jumped around for his opportunity, I think JD has been around long enough that he deserves a shot."

Cooper said Green's "eye for detail" and Bennett's man management masterclass would be the perfect tutorial for Demetriou's ascent to head coach.

News Corp Australia


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