Coffs the target for friendly fire

GOLD Cost Titans hooker Nathan Friend can’t wait to take to the field tonight.

It’s been five months since he last played a game of football and he admits there’s always that extra touch of anticipation before the first game each year.

“It’s always exciting this time of year,” Friend said.

“You train for 12 weeks and everyone is looking really strong and fast and obviously there’s no injuries around so the trials are very interesting to see what you produce on the paddock.”

Last year, the 29 year-old was an integral part of the Titans making their charge towards their first-ever finals series. Friend played in every game and was rewarded for a consistent effort by being named the Paul Broughton Medallist as the club’s best player for the season.

But rather than rest on his laurels, the Toowoomba junior says a new season simply brings on new challenges and more work.

“I was happy to a certain extent with my form but for someone to achieve they need to obviously look at the things they’re doing wrong and try and improve them so that’s where I’m at at the moment,” the helmet-wearing playmaker said.

“I’ve got a couple of guys snapping at my heels once again so obviously I need to perform week-in, week-out, to achieve my two or three goals that I set myself each week.

“If I can do them then I’ll be happy with my game, so that’s all I need to take care of.”

When Gold Coast played their first ever trial three years ago in Coffs Harbour, Friend was missing in action due to shoulder surgery but from what he remembers of the occasion he’s looking forward to his team receiving plenty of support at BCU International Stadium tonight.

“It was nice to see the blue and yellow,” he recalled.

“Although Melbourne have got a really good support base up in Queensland it was good to see the club playing in its first year getting so much support and it’s only grown since then.”

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