Tweed Seagulls coach Ben Woolf said the Gold Coast players were not the only ones learning new skills under Titans head coach Justin Holbrook, with the men in charge of the feeder clubs also absorbing what they can in league’s new era on the Coast.
Woolf and Burleigh counterpart Rick Stone will spend two days a week working with the Titans’ coaching staff at Parkwood as part of a three-year extension to the affiliate agreement between the three parties.
Woolf said while there was no doubt his Seagulls players benefit from any time spent as part of the Titans’ NRL system, he himself was learning ways to develop his coaching with Tweed working with the Super League premiership-winner Holbrook.
“I think it has been really positive,” Woolf said of the Titans’ coaching change. “Any change is always good, you learn new things.
“I am definitely picking things up that I am taking back to our training sessions.
“That is obviously the plan – to have it as close as possible with what we are doing down there to here, so that it is an easy transition for players going in either direction.”
Woolf said the Seagulls were in good shape heading into the 2020 Intrust Super Cup season, looking to improve on a solid 2019 where they finished sixth on the ladder, only to be bounced out in the first week of finals after dropping a 25-24 heartbreaker to Redcliffe.
“We are about four weeks in (pre-season), and we are really happy with how they’re going,” Woolf said.
“Our focus was on maintaining as much of our squad as we could, and we have done that. I think we have lost only two or three players from last year’s top 20.
“We have made good moves in the right direction in the last couple of years and we will be looking to build on that this year.”
Woolf said he was excited about the prospect of Titans players returning to Tweed if they missed out on the NRL squad, and lauded the professional approach of the players who were “sent back” to Intrust Super Cup this season.
“(Their attitude) has always been really good,” he said.
“That has been a focus since I have been at the club – just really making sure those guys are happy when they come back, and that the guys are keen and contributing when they are back there.
“The guys that we have had over the last two years have been really good in that area and we expect nothing to change there.”