The Gold Coast Titans Head Coach Justin Holbook at pre-season training, Parkwood. Picture: Jerad Williams
The Gold Coast Titans Head Coach Justin Holbook at pre-season training, Parkwood. Picture: Jerad Williams

Taylor back for Titans as new coach makes mark

ASH Taylor reported for the first day of Gold Coast pre-season training as captain Ryan James backed new coach Justin Holbrook to get the best out of the troubled Titans playmaker.

Taylor joined the likes of Jai Arrow, Jarrod Wallace, Bryce Cartwright and Nathan Peats as the Titans kicked off their 2020 preparations in sweltering conditions on the Glitter Strip on Monday.

James was also returning to training for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury in April.

Fresh after arriving from England, Holbrook received a warm welcome - from both the players and the weather - after hosting one-on-one meetings with the playing group to introduce himself.

James described Holbrook as a "down-to-earth bloke who knows his footy" and backed him to get the best out of the players.

"It's good to have a fresh start and a clean slate," James said.

"It will be good to see what the new year brings.

Ryan James and the Titans hit the ground running at pre-season training. Picture: Jerad Williams
Ryan James and the Titans hit the ground running at pre-season training. Picture: Jerad Williams

"(The meeting with Holbrook) was more about what we wanted to do and what we wanted to work on.

"We know our game the best and if they can put things in place to help us, that's definitely a plus.

"That's the hard thing about footy - being able to get the best and knowing what makes people drive. That's what Justin's going to have to do.

"It's just making sure you get those little things right that can really get the extra 10 per cent out of someone."

The Titans are looking to make amends for their worst season in club history which resulted in 20 losses, four wins and their second wooden-spoon.

James said Holbrook had already lit a fire under the players.

Ash Taylor, at pre-season training, Parkwood. Photo: Jerad Williams
Ash Taylor, at pre-season training, Parkwood. Photo: Jerad Williams

"He said it in the meeting that nothing is guaranteed.

"You just have to go out there and prove what you can do, and that's what everyone's going to do.

"It gives everyone hope they can be there in Round 1."

NRL veteran Gordon (261 career games, 36 for the Titans) has returned to the club following his retirement last season.

The 36-year-old will work as a development coach with backline players like AJ Brimson and Philip Sami.

"Flash (Gordon) has come on board and doing a bit of work with the back five," James said.

"It's great to see the club looking to him and investing in him for the future because for someone to play 250 games and be able to do what he did, he must have done something right."

Further north, the Cowboys also began their pre-season training with Scott Drinkwater, Coen Hess and Te Maire Martin among those back on the paddock.

News Corp Australia


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