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Penrith Panthers second rower Luke Swain became the Titan?s 10th signing as the fledging club tomorrow marks its 1 year anniversary since being given the green light to join the NRL Telstra Premiership.
The 24 year old has signed a 2 year contract and is itching for the opportunity to become an integral member of the Titans first grade team when it debuts in March 2007. This opportunity has meant a huge mental change in focus for Swain who had envisaged seeing out his playing days at Penrith.
Luke said, ?It?s going to be massive. I thought I was always going to be a ?one club man? but the opportunity to play up there has certainly changed that thinking.?
Key factors in his decision to move north were to play under Head Coach John Cartwright and along side Titans inaugural signing Preston Campbell as well as renewing acquaintances with former team mate and fellow 2003 Telstra Premiership winner Scott Sattler.
?John was my first ever reserve grade coach and he is someone I have followed and looked up to since I first saw him play grade football. To now be coached by him in first grade is just awesome. Knowing that Presto and Satts are there also has made this decision easy, as well as the opportunity to play more football at the top level.? said Swain.
Cartwright rates Swain as a solid first grader and believes he can reach his potential with the Titans because of his durability, consistency and high work rate.
Cartwright said, ?Luke is currently in a position where he can?t realise his full potential because he is not heavy enough to fit into the mould that Penrith want for their forward pack. He has all the attributes on and off the field that fit our criteria for the start up club and I am looking forward to him joining the team.?
Swain will also continue his studies in Exercise Science when he moves to the coast.
Managing Director Michael Searle said, ?The contract includes the Titans funding his tertiary studies. We are pleased to be able to assist Luke to prepare for life after football - even though that is a long way off - and continue the good work that Penrith have achieved in that area with him. It is an absolute pleasure to be able to announce the signing of a first grade player the calibre of Luke Swain on our first anniversary?
Tomorrow (Saturday May 27, 2006) marks 12 months since the NRL announced it?s decision to admit the Gold Coast as the 16th team to play in the competition.
Since then, the administration of the club has been implementing the business and football management plans and setting up the necessary infrastructure for the club to run efficiently in 2007 and beyond.
One of the biggest success stories to date has been the focus on junior development programs for the catchment areas.
Searle said,? The most significant achievement to date has had more to do with junior development than the very public first grade player signings, sponsorship and the business development of the Titans. It has been the creation of our Elite Titans squads that we have set up to assist in the development of elite juniors based between Ipswich and Grafton. The fact there is now a whole generation of kids that have a choice to stay at home and play in front of their families and friends is so important to everyone?
The introduction of our Coaching & Development program into schools and junior rugby leagues has seen a massive increase in the interest of young fans in the Titans.
Searle said, ?These programs are only in their infancy but come March 2007 they will be in full swing. We can?t wait until we can get our NRL players to assist with the promotion of this program. We have only scratched the surface but we have started and we will continue to improve these programs.
The Titans are also set to begin launching their hospitality, membership and season passes in late June through to November.
Chronological list of publicised achievements in Year 1:
May 27 2005 David Gallop announces the Partnership Committee?s decision to admit the Gold Coast into the National Rugby League as the 16th licence as part of an overall strategic plan for the game.
June 22, 2005 Preston Campbell ? the Titans? first signing
June 27, 2005 Luke Bailey signs with Titans
June 30 2005 Brian Carney signs with Titans
July 15, 2005 Anthony Laffranchi signs with Titans
July 18, 2005 Robina announced as the site for new stadium
August 3, 2005 Titans, Pirates and Stingers announced as final possible names for the Gold Coast team. Fan voting begins on NRL website.
August 12, 2005 Matthew Petersen signs with Titans
August 17, 2005 Luke O?Dwyer signs with Titans
August 18, 2005 Nathan Friend signs with Titans
Sept 22, 2005 Titans announced as name for the Gold Coast NRL team
Nov 11, 2005 Palladium Club membership announced
Jan 26, 2006 First Titans team compete in the Orara Valley Sevens Tournament
Feb 15, 2006 Jersey design released
Feb 18, 2006 Titans Gala Charity Ball
Feb 18, 2006 Titans Cheer Squad launched
March 3, 2006 Scott Prince signs with Titans
March 14, 2006 Billy Johnstone - Head Trainer - signs with Titans
March 15, 2006 Merchandise available through website
April 20, 2006 Titans announce March 3 2007 as first home game ? a trial match.
May 23, 2006 Richie Mathers signs with Titans
May 26, 2006 Luke Swain signs with Titans