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Senior Titan Kevin Proctor said he was inspired to return to Gold Coast pre-season training in good condition to keep pace with a Gold Coast playing group cracking the whip under the guidance of new Head Coach Justin Holbrook.

Proctor had a delayed start to his Titans’ pre-season training after a long year that finished with him representing New Zealand at the Nines and in the Kiwis’ Test series against Great Britain.

The veteran said there was a noticeable change in attitude at the club, with the players investing fully in the message being delivered by Holbrook and his assistants Jim Dymock and Jim Lenihan.

“It has been really good so far,” Proctor said. “Everyone is really buying in to what Justin and the two Jimmys have been bringing to the club.

“Everyone is enjoying their time at training, and everyone is looking pretty sharp too. I came back in decent nick. We did my skinnies (skinfold tests) last week, and they were a little bit better than last year, which is good.

“Everyone is looking pretty sharp, so I had to come back in decent nick.”

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Last year was really tough. This year, there has been a really good feeling around the club. Like I said, everyone is buying into what Justin has brough to the club. When everyone is enjoying their footy and their training, everything is pretty good around the club.”

Proctor said the Titans players were thriving on the hard work of the pre-season, determined to make amends for a disastrous 2019 campaign.

Lifting the tempo

In particular, a heavy focus on defence has hit the right chord with the players, who want to rectify the team’s frailties in defence from last season.

“It is pretty hard to say, because I have really only had three weeks training so far – this is my third week,” Proctor said when asked about Holbrook’s coaching techniques.

“But I am really liking his style. It is more defence-orientated this year, which is good because our defence leaked a lot of tries last year which we needed to try to improve. That is what his main focus has been I guess, and everyone is really enjoying it.

“I have spoken to him a fair bit. He is a pretty approachable kind of guy, he’s kind of easy going. If you are stuffing up he is pretty straight up with you too.

“There is no beating around the bush with him. I just like how he is really approachable, and all the young guys seem to get along with him pretty well as well.”