The NRL’s newest coach, Garth Brennan, has received a glowing endorsement from one of the greatest NSW VB Blues players of all time, Brad Fittler.
Brennan, who has just been announced as the Gold Coast Titans coach for the 2018 season and beyond, recently won his third competition with the Penrith Panthers in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, and a week later secured the Intrust Super State Championship over Papua New Guinea.
Fittler is thrilled with the news, believing Brennan thoroughly deserves the role, and hopes it will give New South Wales a left-field edge over Queensland in years to come.
“Fantastic news, he’s a thorough coach, he’ll do a fantastic job up there,” says Fittler of the new appointment.
“I was out [at the Penrith Panthers Academy] recently with the Lebanese Pathways squad and Garth Brennan was out there the day after they’d beaten Wyong, they were preparing for [Papua] New Guinea.
“It’s good to have a NSW person up in Queensland, hopefully he’ll do some spying, we like spying so we’ll do that, we’ll do anything.”
Another high profile person to have endorsed Brennan recently is fellow True Blue and media giant Matthew Johns.
Johns believes Brennan deserves his shot due to his success in the lower grades in the past five years, which has included two Intrust Super Premiership’s, an Intrust Super State championship, and a Holden Cup premiership, all with the Panthers.
“I’ve had a wrap on Garth Brennan for a long time,” Johns told his Triple M listeners during his broadcast of The Grill Team a few weeks ago.
“Garth Brennan has been coaching lower grades at Penrith for a number of years now and he’s won competition after competition after competition.
“He’s a young coach, he’s very much in that Trent Robinson, Michael Maguire mould in the fact that people don’t know who he is, he’s not a household name in Rugby League.
“After 12 months of success that’s how you build your reputation that’s how you get a name in coaching.”
After a weeks of speculation since the sacking of Neil Henry, the Titans finally announced Brennan as coach this morning just a few weeks out from pre season.
He had to withdraw from his role as the New Zealand World Cup assistant coach, to be replaced by another up-and-coming coach in Ben Gardiner, in order to prepare for the life on the Gold Coast.
Brennan certainly deserves his chance at an NRL level, and through a Titans media release earlier today expressed how excited he is at the opportunity.
"I’m really thrilled about the opportunity I have now at the Gold Coast Titans,” Brennan said. “I’m excited by the current roster and quality of group that I am going to take control of.
“I really want to focus on developing from within, that’s what I believe is my strength. It’s what I take away from my two previous clubs, I want to work closely with the individuals, I want to get to know them and work together to build that culture that everybody talks about.
“My message will be pretty simple. I want the group to train, play hard and I want every team to know that they have played a tough Titans team.”
CEO, Graham Annesley, welcomed Brennan’s appointment after an exhaustive search process.
"Garth has definitely served his rugby league 'apprenticeship' and thoroughly deserves this opportunity,” Annesley said.
"He not only has an impressive coaching record, he is also a very impressive person who will add a lot to the culture of the club. We are extremely pleased to have him on board.
"It is an exciting period for the club, and with a new ownership model also imminent, we can't wait for the 2018 season to get underway with Garth as our Head Coach."