For some players, upon their retirement, they pursue other ventures and activities before making an eventual return to the game – and for former Panther and Shark Martin Lang, he has done that – returning with the Gold Coast Titans as their new assistant Strength and Conditioning coach.
Lang, who was previously at the now defunct A-League side Gold Coast United, began pre-season training in his new role at the club this week.
â€œIâ€™m thankful for the opportunity, itâ€™s something Iâ€™m looking forward to,â€ said Lang.
Lang was a hard-running, no-nonsense prop in his day, playing in 176 NRL games with the Panthers and the Sharks, 8 Origin games, as well as winning a premiership with Penrith in 2003.
With a lot of younger players in the Titans squad, coach John Cartwright hopes that the Lang's experience means he can impart a plethora of useful information to them.
â€œCartyâ€™s looking for me to do a little of that, basically wherever I can help out, if a young front rower comes to me for advice Iâ€™m hap
py to help,â€ said Lang.
â€œIf I can improve them in that manner then thatâ€™s good.â€
With the off-season generally a time when some players will inadvertently let themselves go, Lang is impressed with how the Titans have maintained peak fitness so far.
â€œTheyâ€™ve all got a really good level of fitness, thereâ€™s not too many that came back overweight and out of nick.â€
Lang will know a familiar face in the Titans coaching ranks, with former QLD Origin player Trevor Gillmeister also at the club – with Lang looking forward to working with him.
â€œHeâ€™s a great bloke and heâ€™s been at the Titans a long time and heâ€™s highly respected in the game, so Iâ€™ll learn a few things off Gilly, thatâ€™ll be great.â€
Most importantly, however, Lang is pleased to be involved in the game of rugby league again, following a few years absence.
â€œItâ€™s exciting. Iâ€™ve been out of the game a few years now, apart from a few Masters matches, itâ€™s going to be terrific to be back involved with a good group of guys that are very professional.”
â€œItâ€™s a great set up here at the Titans so Iâ€™m looking forward to it.â€