The main honchos of the Gold Coast Titans have pledged to give new coach Justin Holbrook the amount of time required to resurrect the club from the ashes, although they stopped short of saying where the club will be based, as the speculation of a possible move to Brisbane still has a pulse.
Holbrook done okay by himself as coach of the English Super League club St. Helens. He won 62 of 78 games in that role.
How the Titans were able to persuade him to take on the Sisyphean task of resurrecting Gold Coast is testament to the powers of persuasion.
The Titans have made just one finals appearance since 2009 and there seems to be no shortage of axes at the Gold Coast.
There are still some i’s to dot and t’s to cross, to the extent that Titans’ chief executive Steve Mitchell would not confirm the appointment of Holbrook. He did say that Gold Coast’s new coach will have until 2023 at the minimum to demonstrate a course of progress.
Holbrook was a NRL player at one point during his playing days, with games for the Knights, Panthers and Sydney from 1999 – 2002, but he made just 17 NRL appearances before switching to coaching.
He worked for the Dogs, the Dragons and the Eels and finally the Roosters before taking the head job at St. Helens in 2017.
Gold Coast might be talking the patience game for the moment, but another spoon-worthy season or two and the Titans might be of a different mindset.
Additionally, with his connections in Australian football, one of the other clubs might find Holbrook of interest, especially if he can raise the Titans to some degree.
Then, there is that 79 percent figure with St. Helens that cannot fail to dangle a lure in front of the figures who select the NRL coaches.