iSelect Titans utility player Steve Michaels has become the fourth long-term Titans player to say farewell after completing a deal to join Mark Minichiello and former Titans teammate Jordan Rankin with English club Hull next season.
The Mudgeeraba Redbacks junior, 27, has signed a one-year deal with an option for a second. He played most of this season with Burleigh Bears such was the depth of the Titans’ three-quarter line but Hull see him as a valuable acquisition as a centre.
Michaels was waiting for final details of the deal to be confirmed when he played for the Titans against the Bulldogs on Sunday which was built as a nostalgic day for Minichiello, Luke Bailey and the prematurely retired Ashley Harrison.
He finished the season playing in the back row off the bench for the Titans and showed his usual enthusiasm and he will be a good buy for the famous Hull club that has completed a disappointing season.
"I've always dreamed of going over to the UK and it's the right time now for me when I feel I've still got plenty of footy left in me,” said the popular clubman.
“I'm still only 27 and I'm looking to bring some of my best footy over there. I want to prove my worth to the club and show them I am capable of playing well, show them I can play and stay on longer.
“I was pretty fortunate to debut pretty early in the NRL and it has felt like a long while playing but this is just the next chapter in my life and I'm looking to make the most of it and have some good experiences.
“I’m grateful that I was able to come back to my home club mid-year 2010 when John Cartwright gave me an opportunity when I wasn’t enjoying my footy much. I got that enjoyment back and experienced some highs and lows here – the finals of 2010 and wooden spoon in 2011.
“But it would really like to see the Titans back in the finals next year; they’re a great bunch of blokes and I’ve enjoyed every moment being at the club.”
Michaels debuted for the Brisbane Broncos as an 18-year-old in 2005 (playing for the Junior Kangaroos the same season) and spent his first six seasons there before heading home to the Gold Coast where he immediately tasted finals action. He’s played 60 games for the Titans and 59 for the Broncos.
"We are really pleased to get Steve's signature," Hull coach Lee Radford said. "He will undoubtedly add some speed and competition to our backline for 2015.
"Steve has played over 120 NRL first grade games for both the Titans and the Broncos and is still only 27.
"Everyone I've spoken to regarding his personality have said the same, that he is a competitor, which is music to my ears.”