He might be a veteran of the game and currently 33 years of age, but Luke Bailey still remains an integral part of the Gold Coast Titans forward pack – as he chases a contract extension at the club, seeking that elusive premiership glory.
After suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon last season, thus ending his year, Bailey is eager to return to the field as soon as possible, and is expected to do so in the club’s final trial against the Cowboys.
The man nicknamed ‘Bull’ Bailey, underwent both surgery and significant rehabilitation on his injured tendon, but he is enjoying getting back into the swing of things.
“I’m loving training. I had a bit of a break and freshened up a little bit and I’d like to get another year out,” he said.
“The club wants to see me play first, which is common sense, (but) I’d like to have another hit-out next year.”
With the veteran off-contract at the end of 2013, whilst he wants a contract extension, the club wants to see him play consistently, something that Bailey has had no problems doing in the past.
With a keen desire to win that premiership that has so far eluded him, it is that desire that has Bailey intent to continue playing for the club.
“Each year for me is probably more important,” he said.
“I want to try to get a grand final. Last year was frustrating getting the injury three games out (from the finals).
“It’s motivation for the following year.”
With the Titans forward pack quite formidable overall, Bailey has no intention of playing a reduced workload or a lesser role at the club.
“I still really enjoy that sort of role, playing as long as I can and staying on the field as long as I can,” he said.
“It’s probably going to be difficult with the calibre of players we have now. Carty (coach John Cartwright) hasn’t asked me about doing anything different.
“He wants me to do what I’ve been doing.”
Whilst the aim is to be fit and back for the club’s opening NRL game against the Cronulla Sharks in Rd 1, if Bailey is not ready for the game, he will not rush back to play.
“I wouldn’t risk it. We’ve got the team now and the players to not risk it and push it,” he said.
“It’s probably wise to look after it. If I’m not right I won’t play.
“It’s sort of funny because I’ve had a bit of tendonitis in the left one from overcompensating. That’s been the problem for the past couple of weeks.
“It’ll probably be a couple of weeks before I get full confidence but so far, so good.”