As the old saying goes, ‘home is where the heart is’, and for Kevin Proctor, such a statement has rung true in his career.
The New Zealand international has opted for a return home to the Gold Coast to join the Titans, returning to the area that he grew up in.
Granted a release from the final two years of his contract with the Melbourne Storm, Proctor was thankful for everything the Storm have done for him since 2008.
“I’d like to thank Melbourne Storm for everything they’ve done for my family and I during my time at the Club, particularly Craig, the players and staff.
“A special thanks to the Storm members and fans, I’ve felt nothing but love from everyone since I played my first game.
“To leave Storm was an incredibly tough decision, I have some great memories and made some lifelong friends, my family and I are excited for what lies ahead.”
Sitting in sixth on the list for most games played for the Storm, Proctor was a member of both the 2009 NYC Premiership winning side and the 2012 NRL premiership winning side.
An under-rated player in the Storm’s system, the club know they will miss Proctor but did not want to stand in his way.
“KP has been a massive part of our football club over the last nine years,” said the Storm’s Football Director, Frank Ponissi.
“He set an example for the rest of the playing group with his work ethic and relentless approach to seeing this Club succeed. He has been a mainstay of our line-up, having only missed 10 games since the start of 2011.
“KP is extremely popular with our staff and playing group and the influence he has had on our younger players will no doubt help them step in to fill his position within the team.”
The club went on to thank Proctor for his service to the club and gave him well wishes for his time at the Titans.
“While we would have loved to have seen him play the remainder of his career in the purple jersey, we understand the opportunity for both him and his young family to return home to the Gold Coast,”added Ponissi.
“We wish both Kevin, his partner Leesa and their daughters the best of luck for the next chapter of their lives, they will always be welcome here as a part of the Storm family.”
In the end, it was about returning to a place he was comfortable in for Proctor and he is excited at what lies ahead.
“This is a great opportunity to return home to the Gold Coast with my young family to be closer to all of our family,” Proctor said.
“It has been a long process and I needed to feel comfortable with the decision as I have had a successful time at the Melbourne Storm and made some great friends, but now I am looking forward to joining Neil and the Titans players and contributing to the team’s success.”
A hard-working back-rower, Proctor is a welcome addition to the Titans side in light of recent roster changes, with coach Neil Henry pleased to sign someone of his caliber.
“Kevin is an international player that comes to the club with plenty of runs on the board,” Henry said.
“We’ve had some experienced players depart but Kevin will help fill that void and we’ll be looking for him to come in and lead the way, especially for the younger guys around him.
“As a seasoned international, Kevin will provide some real spark in attack and the kind of toughness in defence that every club needs.”
Club CEO Tony Mestrov is also looking forward to seeing Proctor at the Titans for the long haul.
“Kevin is a player who has achieved so much in his playing career so far,” Mestrov said.
“He has been part of a successful system in Melbourne and he comes to the club at the peak of his game.
“He grew up on the Gold Coast and his partner is born and bred up here, so we they will immediately feel at home which will hopefully help Kevin play his best football.
“We are really pleased to secure Kevin’s services at the Titans as the club continues to build a formidable line-up capable of competing at the top level of the NRL.”