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It is Monday morning, the start of a new week, but this week is already better than the previous. Why?

Because the footy is back!

After a long and grueling off-season, the real stuff finally returns this Friday night when the Gold Coast Titans take on the Burleigh Bears at Pizzey Park.

The countless sessions in the gym and on the training paddock get put to the test when a Titans side, likely to feature a mix of youth and experience, take the field at 7pm local time. (ticket info)

For many of the Titans players they haven't only been waiting an off-season, they have been waiting nearly a year to get to play the real stuff once again.

Players like Toby Sexton, whose season was cut short after only one game last year when the Intrust Super Cup went into hiatus for the year amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Although, the Titans youngster used the time to his advantage.

"After the first round, corona came around and because we were in the bubble here and the boys were playing first grade, that was the only game I got for the year, which was tough. But it was kind of a good thing as well because I could just slow down my whole development and there was no pressure on me to perform," Sexton said.

"At first, it was a bit frustrating as a young fella getting through pre-season. I just wanted to play footy, but towards the back of it, I saw the benefits of it and I think it’s been the best thing for me moving forward to this year." 

It is not just Sexton who will look to the trials for their first football in a while, with experienced winger Jonus Pearson no doubt itching to get back on the field after injury cruelled his 2020 season.

Despite the tough competition for spots in the outside backs, Pearson says he's confident he can play a part in the Titans success in 2021.

"I think all the boys are hungry to get into the first 13." Pearson said.

"I want to put myself there as well so I've got to train hard in the pre-season and I'm looking forward to the trials going into February."

The Titans will name their squad for Friday's game on Tuesday and although it is only the start of the 2021 journey, the arrival of the first trial means the real thing isn't far away.

And that is a good thing!

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