Thurston backs Titans future
HE was the architect of their downfall in the final game of his career but Johnathan Thurston sees positives for the Titans as they attempt to become an NRL force.
Thurston, who will return to the Gold Coast in November as part of a national speaking tour, played out the final minutes of his career in the city earlier this month.
And while he led the Cowboys to a comeback win at Cbus Super Stadium, Thurston can see light on the horizon for the Titans.
North Queensland finished just one place above the Titans this season but in Thurston's time at the club have won a premiership and become a club that expects to make the eight every season.
The proud Maroon believes it is vital to have three strong Queensland clubs in the NRL and can see positive signs the Gold Coast can build in the same way the Cowboys did between 2005 - when they made a grand final in Thurston's first season at the club - and 2015 when they finally won a premiership.
"There were some highs and lows in that 10 years," he said. "We made the finals in '07 and then I don't think we made the finals again until 2011, so there were certainly some tough times there but you want to be competitive and you want to make sure that each year you're improving.
"We definitely need three (strong) teams (in Queensland) and especially one on the Gold Coast.
"When you're playing professional sport, you want to win every week but you also want to be playing a style of footy that the fans want to come and watch and you want to have people in your team that the crowd want to come and watch. I really do believe that the Titans do have that."
Given that, Thurston also believes the Titans can see the region rally behind them in the same way that North Queensland has supported the Cowboys if they are successful.
"Once you start stringing a few wins together and having a few successful years in a row, then you start to have that impact on the community where they're looking forward to their footy," he said.
■ An evening with Johnathan Thurston will be held at The Star Gold Coast on November 10. Tickets at majoreventscompany.com/shows