Titans retain 'big fella' Bailey
FINALLY, after announcing the release of two club stalwarts, Brad Meyers and Anthony Laffranchi, Gold Coast Titans have given their supporters a fillip by announcing the retention of prop Luke Bailey, who has signed on for another two seasons.
The big fella, who was a late withdrawal prior to the Titans' disappointing showing in the loss against the Warriors on Sunday, will be back for the vital clash with the high-flying Sea Eagles at Skilled Park on Monday night.
Bailey was co-captain with halfback Scott Prince for the club's inaugural season in 2007 and is the only player in Titans history to have won the Paul Broughton Medal, awarded to the club's best and fairest player, on two occasions.
Titans managing director Michael Searle said the 201-game forward showed no signs of slowing down and rated him as one of the most valuable props in the game.
“We are really pleased to be able to provide Luke with an additional two years in the NRL and at the Titans, given he has been competing at the highest level statistically this season,” Searle said.
“He has greatly benefited from a modification of his training regime and I firmly believe his work rate in attack and defence make him one of the most valuable props in the game.
“Being a natural leader of men on the field gives the Titans great pleasure to think he is most likely now going to finish his career at our club.”
Coach John Cartwright said Bailey was a warrior who continued to be a key member of the team.
“We are very blessed to have a front-rower in the modern game who can play 80 minutes week-in and week-out,” Cartwright said.
“He is one of our most consistent players and he leads by example in everything he does. It's great news that we're able to keep him here for another two years, as I'm sure he'll have a big influence on the next generation of players coming through our ranks.”
Bailey, who has played 15 matches for New South Wales and four Tests for Australia, said a sense of unfinished business in his quest for a maiden premiership had convinced him to remain with the club and not consider other options overseas.
“I've still got a burning desire to go another step further in the NRL before I go anywhere else. A bit of unfinished business,” Bailey said.
“I love it here on the Gold Coast and I'm excited to still be a part of what we're building here at the Titans. We've gone close over the last couple of years and I'd love to tick that last remaining box.”