GOLD Coast legend Scott Sattler says the Titans should have a big, red recruitment target on the head of Queensland coach Kevin Walters after the club sacked Neil Henry.
The Titans finally dropped the axe on Henry after another disappointing season that started with so much promised but culminated in a series of late-season floggings, and the airing of a lot of dirty laundry concerning a feud between Henry and million-dollar star Jarryd Hayne.
The Titans board decided to sever ties with Henry, who joined Gold Coast as an assistant coach in 2013 after getting the chop at North Queensland.
The Titans are now in a race to find a new head coach before the players return for pre-season training in November, and Walters – with two successful Origin campaigns under his belt – appears at the top of the shopping list.
Sattler, who played for the Coast as a Seagull and a Charger and was a foundation staff member when the Titans joined the NRL in 2007, says the club needs to get its house in order before it loses its supporters and the people of the Gold Coast for good.
“Just when things started looking up for the club after the finals appearance last year, and everyone getting behind them because of the courageous way they played, it has all come apart again,” Sattler said.
“They had done so well on the field, and off the field as well, with the Titans starting to get a bit of traction in people’s minds.
“But it is so disappointing now to see the club being perceived in this amateurish light. I speak to a lot of people in the community and they are getting to the stage where they have had enough of the dramas.
“It’s at the stage now where I have genuine concerns about the future of the game on the Gold Coast to be honest with you.”
Sattler says Walters is an obvious target as the Titans’ next coach.
He brings a terrific coaching pedigree after his two years as Origin coach, having served apprenticeships as an assistant to coaching giants Wayne Bennett, Craig Bellamy and Mal Meninga.
“I have no doubt that Kevvie wants to be an NRL coach – I don’t know why, because as Queensland coach he has the best job in the world,” Sattler said.
“But coaches are driven people. They want to be in that competitive environment day in, day out. I know Kevvie is that way inclined. He should be the No.1 priority.
“Kevin Walters is definitely the man they should be chasing.”
If Walters elects to stay with the Maroons, Sattler suggests the Titans might have to be a bit more left-field in their thinking to try to get the club back on an even keel.
“If they can’t get Kev, I truly believe they should be looking to bring Tim Sheens in as a coaching coordinator, with someone like Craig Fitzgibbon as head coach,” Sattler said.
“I think you need someone on the Coast who has a focus on junior development systems. Tim does that, and he has also been one of our greatest coaches of all time.
“Tim would also be able to continue the development of one of the great young coaches in our game, and Craig Fitzgibbon is that guy. Craig will be a long-term coach, and that is what the Titans need.
“He knows how to win, and he could bring a winning culture to the Titans that they desperately need.”