Titans starting fresh
TITANS staff and players have put the dismal 2011 NRL season behind them and have declared the only way is upward after collecting sport's most unwanted prize - the wooden spoon.
Gold Coast's shining light last season was Lismore product David Mead, the speedy winger scorching across the try-line 16 times, a club record.
The 23-year-old was all smiles yesterday at the home of the Ballina Seagulls at Kingsford Smith Park where the Titans were run ragged by the coaching staff.
Next week the intensity will lift even more as preparations for Saturday week's match against the Cowboys in Townsville looms.
"We've got a brand new squad which is the big thing," Titans coach John Cartwright told The Northern Star yesterday.
"We've got new coaches, positional coaches and psychological coaches, we are taking a bit of a different approach.
"We've got a brand new team so last year doesn't come into it for us, I know a lot of people want to talk about it (the wooden spoon).
"If we were going into the season with exactly the same group of players we would have had a lot more to work on.
"All we can draw out of last year is negatives but it is a brand new season and we are confident we are as good as anyone in the comp."
Andrew 'Joey' Johns is consulting to the Titans, Bulldogs and Warriors in the new dawn of the NRL now devoid of News Limited ownership and under the stewardship of the ARL
Commission and was in Ballina yesterday working with the Titans.
"He (Johns) has been tremendous," Cartwright said.
"We are constantly looking to improve and players at this level need to or they can go stale.
"The ball players have definitely appreciated having Andrew around I know us as coaches have benefited from his experience."
Mead even got to rub shoulders with one of the games greatest halves in Johns.
"He was working with a few of the boys there and it looks like they're getting their skills up," the former Trinity College student said.
"He's one of the best players in the game."
Mead said he wanted to play at the highest level week in, week out.
"Now is the time to look forward to the start of the year and I'm pretty keen for that," he said.
"Play the best footy I can every game, prepare myself better than I did last year and always look to improve."
The Titans are away on March 3 in Townsville and then at home at Skilled Stadium to the Raiders on Saturday March 10.