Titans step up pursuit of big Idris
Young superstar’s humility impresses Gold Coast boss as much as his ability
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
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