Gold Coast signs Bailey

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Canteen Worker

First Grader

27 June 2005

The Gold Coast Rugby League Consortium has signed its second top class player for the NRL franchise. Australian Kangaroos, New South Wales State of Origin and Dragons Prop Luke Bailey confirmed his intention to move to the coast in 2007 by agreeing to terms today in a four year contract.

"I am excited by the challenge of helping start the new club and the opportunity to use my experience to help mould its culture," Bailey said.

"I have developed a good relationship with John Cartwright through my association with him at State Of Origin and I believe it to be a step in the right direction for me at this time of my career.

"Personally I am looking forward to moving to the Gold Coast. I have relatives there and I will definitely enjoy taking my young family up there.

"The contract with the Gold Coast came about after my manager Allan Gainey was given permission to negotiate prior to the 30 June Anti Tampering Deadline."

Gainey is hopeful of finalising a deal this week that will see Bailey stay at the Dragons next season before the move north.

Today's announcement follows last week's news that Preston Campbell would finish his career where he started it.

Gold Coast managing director Michael Searle said he was over the moon with the results of the recruitment program.

"Being able to secure an Australian and State of Origin Front Rower of the calibre of Luke Bailey, who has played less than 100 first grade games, is exciting for our club and its future," Searle said.

"Luke has his best years as a front rower ahead of him and having him commit to this club for four years lays a perfect platform for our team's forward pack.

"Luke averages 16 hit ups and 28 tackles a game and that sends a clear message that we will be acquiring players who can lead on the paddock.

"However it was his work ethic off and his leadership qualities that made him such an important target for us and this announcement will reinforce our commitment to signing players that will make this team competitive in 2007 and beyond."

Coach in waiting John Cartwright said, "This signing is great for the credibility of the club. Luke is considered in the top bracket of front rowers in the game. He is a true leader who leads by example and to get him as one of our first signings is a real coup".

"Off the field he is settled and I know he is looking forward to the lifestyle the Gold Coast offers a young family. Like Preston, Luke's leadership on and off the field, will be important coming into our first season and beyond."

Michael Searle left his final endorsement for St George Illawarra Dragons CEO and head coach.

"I would like to thank Peter Doust and Nathan Brown for the professional way the handled this request from Luke and his family and the open and transparent conduct between both of the clubs and the player," Searle said.

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