Ti­tans step up pur­suit of big Idris

Young su­per­star’s hu­mil­ity im­presses Gold Coast boss as much as his abil­ity

Townsville Bulletin - - Rugby league -

D O M I N A T I N G N R L su­per­star Greg Inglis on the field was im­pres­sive enough.

But it was Ja­mal Idris’ per­for­mance af­ter­wards that con­vinced Gold Coast T i t a n s b o s s M i c h a e l Searle he must pur­sue the off-con­tract Can­ter­bury pow­er­house.

‘‘ I was prob­a­bly more im­pressed with his per­for­mance af­ter the game,’’ Searle said yes­ter­day.

‘‘ The fact that he was so re­spect­ful to GI ( Inglis) s a i d a l o t a b o u t h i s char­ac­ter.

‘‘ I was im­pressed the way he han­dled what could have been, for a young boy, an easy op­por­tu­nity to spruik, and he didn’t.

‘‘ On that ba­sis alone we are in­ter­ested.

‘‘ That to me is the sort of player who is ap­peal­ing to our club.

‘‘ And he su­per­star.

‘ ‘ You’ve got an obli­ga­tion to your fans and spon­sors to at least par­tic­i­pate in that sort of ne­go­ti­a­tion.’’

Idris’s ask­ing price is set t o sky­rocket af­ter brush­ing aside op­po­site

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fu­ture num­ber Inglis in the Bull­dogs’ con­vinc­ing 28-19 NRL win over South Syd­ney on Sun­day.

The 20-year-old has al­ready toured New­cas­tle’s fa­cil­i­ties and had din­ner with Knights coach Rick Stone.

Not to be out­done, the Bull­dogs are seek­ing fed­eral gov­ern­ment sup­port to of­fer Idris a role as an in­dige­nous am­bas­sador.

And the Syd­ney-based club also hope to cater for his TV and film as­pi­ra­tions.

But Searle has backed him­self de­spite the huge in­ter­est from the Knights, and Can­ter­bury pro­duc­ing the big car­rots for the NSW rep­re­sen­ta­tive to stay.

‘‘ We have a very at­trac­tive life­style, and won­der­ful fa­cil­i­ties – they are big ad­van­tages,’’ Searle said.

‘‘ And I know fam­ily ( on the NSW north coast) is a big thing with him as well. Be­cause you have to con­sider the emo­tional side.

‘‘ Mov­ing a player away from a club is a mas­sive task be­cause play­ers are in­her­ently very loyal to their club. The days of just putting in an of­fer for a player are gone – there are a lot of things you have to tick off.

‘‘ It’s like a mar­riage pro­posal. The first girl you meet you don’t get mar­ried to.

‘‘ We need to un­der­stand what is im­por­tant in his life, his fam­ily, and what he wants to do in his life out­side of foot­ball.’’

Searle hopes to speak to I d r i s ’ s ma n a g e r S a m Ay­oub in the next week.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive said the Ti­tans’ in­ter­est in the Bull­dogs star should not sound alarm bells for of­f­con­tract Gold Coast play­ers – in­clud­ing the likes of h i g h - p r o f i l e f o r wa r d s Luke Bai­ley and An­thony Laf­franchi.

‘‘ We had a mas­sive tilt at Inglis last year and we have not brought any­one in since then so if we could fit Greg Inglis in I am sure we could fit Ja­mal Idris in,’’ Searle said.

‘‘ There is no one at that s t a g e o f t h e i r c a r e e r where they are un­der ( salary cap) pres­sure – we could keep the cur­rent squad for an­other year quite eas­ily.’’

FEAR­SOME WEAPON: Im­pos­ing Bull­dogs cen­tre Ja­mal Idris makes a trade­mark break against the Tigers

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