Nathan Peats sincerely hopes Justin Holbrook has a bag of magic tricks with him when arrives on the Gold Coast in November, but will be happy if the new Titans coach just turns up with a sturdy pair of shoes.
“We need a kick up the arse to be honest,” a brutally honest Peats said of the Titans’ playing squad after their squandered 2019 season.
Talk to Peats about the Titans’ 2019 campaign, which started with hopes high for a top-eight finish and ended with the Gold Coast anchored to the bottom of the table, and the recurring word is “disappointing”.
Peats felt the disappointment more than most, having the middle of his season wrecked by an 11-week stint on the sideline after tearing a pectoral muscle while training in the gym.
His return coincided with the high-point of the Titans’ season – a 26-18 win over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Round 13 – but from there it was all downhill for the injury-ravaged Gold Coast, who went the next 12 rounds without a win.
“It was obviously a tough year for a lot of us, the Club and the fans,” Peats said.
“It was disappointing, it was disappointing for the whole side to be honest. On a personal note for myself, it was a disappointing year. When you miss 11 games with an injury out of 24, it is half the season gone.
“It was a very poor year from an individual standard and a team standard. I think we are all hungry to improve and impress next year, as individuals and as a side.”
That hunger is being fuelled by the imminent arrival of Holbrook, who has taken St Helens to incredible heights during his two seasons at the helm in Super League.
Peats said the injection of energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas is exactly what the doctor ordered for a Titans squad down on confidence, but determined to make amends in 2020.
“I have played under a number of coaches now, and when a new one comes in you know the intensity is going to step up, training is going to step up,” he said. “To be honest, that is exactly what we need.
“We need a kick up the arse to be honest, and that all starts from Day 1 of pre-season.
“In saying that, we trained really, really hard this pre-season under Dan Ferris. It is probably the fittest and strongest that I have been in my career, and I have been playing for nearly 10 years.
“It just goes to show that you can have a great pre-season, and not take it into the season.
“I guarantee (this year) will be another step up and harder again.”