It's day one of the Winter school holidays and fresh from the week off, the Titans hit the training paddock in Burleigh on Monday to give young fans an experience and a half on their break.
One Gold Coast player particularly excited to be back among the budding junior supporters was flyer Corey Thompson, who relished the chance to have fun with over 300 Gold Coast youngsters who were full of energy and excitement to meet and train with their favourite NRL stars.
The clinic was even more special for the entire playing group given the restrictions of the Project Apollo bubble the previous two seasons prevented them from interacting with the Coast's next generation.
"It’s been great. There’s over 310 kids here today and it’s great to be able to be down here and among it all for their first day of school holidays," Thompson said.
"We haven’t done anything like this for a long time now due to COVID. We trained here (at Pizzey Park) this morning and all the kids were down here watching.
"As soon as we were finished, they sprinted onto the field kicking the footy around. It’s really good to finally get back into it and enjoy some time with the fans.
"It's especially great to see so many kids down here wearing their jerseys. All our boys are getting involved, participating and having plenty of fun."
There was no reprieve in intensity at training after the Representative Round bye, hitting the turf of Pizzey Park for a quality session ahead of the Titans' Round 16 clash against the Knights in Newcastle, but the 117-game winger is confident this Friday's fixture can be a turning point for his club's season.
Match: Knights v Titans
Round 16 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
"Our preparation is looking really good. We had a semi-opposed session today and we trained really well," Thompson said.
"We have tomorrow off before we prepare really well for Newcastle. It’ll be a tough game.
"We need to start winning to climb further up the ladder because we’re in a tough spot at the moment and we definitely don’t want to finish at the bottom at the end of the year."
Approaching another weekend off after this week's clash against the Novocastrians, the experienced back feels the timing of the breaks has been good for the squad, allowing the group to rest niggling injuries, relax and unwind by enjoying the great location they have the luxury of living at.
"We played a lot of games in a row and we had the bye, now an away trip to Newcastle and then another bye," Thompson said.
"We need to utilise this rest, work on a few areas that we’ve been really poor in and win against Newcastle. Then we can have the week off before we come back and get some more wins.
"Most of the boys who weren’t in International teams stayed home.
"We live in a pretty good spot that we don’t need to travel far to find a nice beach to relax on. A lot of the boys just stayed home and relaxed before coming back to training today."