Titans legend Preston Campbell‘s message to the club’s loyal Members and fans is simple: Hold tight, because the good times are coming.
The club’s first-ever player signing, Preston this week formalised his official return to the Titans, signing on in a wide-ranging role involving mentoring, development and ambassadorial duties.
A Gold Coast Charger of 1998, Preston carries a deep love of the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers community and the club that shines through in palpable excitement when conversation turns to the Titans.
Preston is universally admired as one of the nicest people in the game, and is equally respected for his freakish abilities on the field that saw him beat Immortal Andrew Johns to win the Dally M Medal in 2001 as the best player in the game.
He is typically humble when he says joining the Titans in an official off-field role is more his way of “giving back” to the club he credits for giving him the life he loves.
“It is exciting,” Preston said. “As a rugby league player, you get this opportunity to make a better life for yourself. The Titans played a big part in me being able to live the life that I have.
“Rugby league and the Titans – even going back to the Chargers – have given me a lot to be thankful for. So now it is exciting for me personally to be able to give back to the club that has given me a life.
“Apart from the fact that I do love the club, being involved in football is something that I enjoy. To be around that again… I am really excited to see how it goes.
“With the club, the place has been through some pretty tough times in the last five or six years. But they are now in a position where they are looking to move forward, and if I can help them with that, I will be happy.
“I know what a big difference sport makes to the people of a community. I am all about community, and I love the community that we have here.
“Rugby league is successful because of the people in it, and the people that support it. If I can repay the faith of the people who support the Titans by helping to make the club successful, then I would be more than happy with that.
“Hopefully I can play a role in attracting people to want to be a part of the club, because the Titans are a great club. It has been through a fair bit, and to come through with some lessons learned, you hope that there are some good things coming for the club.”
Preston’s return is another key plank in the rebuilding of the Titans’ culture that is growing under the stable ownership of the Frizelle and Kelly families, the administrative direction of Dennis Watt and Steve Mitchell, and the appointment of league legend Mal Meninga as Head of Performance and Culture.
He said the patience and loyalty of the Titans’ Members and fans who have stood by the club through some dark days would never be forgotten.
“Loyalty is something that has become something of a rarity these days,” he said.
“To those Titans fans who are hanging on, the ones who have been there since the beginning, and the ones who have jumped onboard with us just recently, I just want to thank them for their support and their loyalty.
“My message to them is: There are good days coming.
“The tide is about to turn because I know how much hard work is being put in.
“I want the Titans fans to know that the club is going in the right direction, and I want them to be with us when the tide starts to turn, because they deserve to be a part of that success.”