Titans reel from biggest blow yet

Voluntary administration. Public urination. Cocaine arrests.

Gold Coast boss Graham Annesley would have been tempted to think whatever could have gone wrong already had in 2015.

Yet Daly Cherry-Evans’ sensational backflip on Tuesday may yet be the most devastating blow.

Annesley said Cherry-Evans’ decision to renege on a lucrative four-year Titans deal and remain in Manly was “unrelated” to their other 2015 woes.

However, the decision by the player considered the Titans’ saviour to turn his back on the club only looks set to compound them.

Cherry-Evans was seen as the golden boy the Gold Coast had hoped to rebuild their club around in the wake of their 2015 controversies.

Now he is not coming.

And the players they had to let go because of Cherry-Evans’ lucrative deal – captain Nate Myles and playmaker Aidan Sezer – aren’t coming back next year.

Plenty has gone wrong for the Titans in 2015 – and it’s only June.

Yet what made the Cherry-Evans’ backflip even more devastating was that Annesley thought the Titans had done “everything right” – and still came off second best.

Reminded that the backflip was another blow to the Titans this year, Annesley said: “This is completely unrelated, this is a personnel issue.

“Daly was signed. We did everything right up to this day.

“We worked within the rules. We had not applied any additional pressure to him since he signed the contract.

“I really don’t know what has happened.”

The only time Annesley threatened to drop his guard was when asked how he found out about Cherry-Evans’ call.

“Daly did call (coach) Neil (Henry). I got a call from one of his managers after the media had already broken the story,” he said.

“I am very disappointed we weren’t told in the first instance before it hit the media.”

Asked if he was angry, Annesley said: “Disillusioned is a better word than angry.

“You would like to think that when someone makes a commitment that they honour that commitment.”

Standing beside Annesley, Gold Coast coach Neil Henry also remained stoic despite the “significant” ramifications of Cherry-Evans’ backflip.

He admitted they had no contingency plan because Cherry-Evans had “looked him in the eye and shaken my hand”.

He also found out via the media before a “remorseful” Cherry-Evans called.

Henry’s recruitment plan has not only gone back to the drawing board, it is well behind the eight-ball.

Annesley refused to play the victim but did feel for the people who he thought were hurt most by Cherry-Evans.

“I feel sorry for the staff, members and sponsors for the way the saga has played out the way it has,” he said.

“But this will not in any way, shape or form diminish this club’s determination to be successful.

“We will move on. We will target other players that will fit into the culture and aspirations that this club has – this club will have success.”

Unfortunately it has been a mantra Annesley has had to mutter several times already this year.

And sadly, it remains to be seen if it rings true for the embattled Titans after their latest blow.

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