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The Titans have signed two-time Intrust Super Cup premiership winner Jamal Fogarty to a two-year deal, with the reigning Player of the Year joining the Club’s Development Player squad.

Fogarty will join the Titans as a Development Squad player in 2020, and then move into the senior playing squad in 2021.

The 26-year-old attacking weapon enjoyed a stellar 2019 with Burleigh, leading the Bears to the Intrust Super Cup grand final win over Wynnum Manly, and while Fogarty received interest from a number of NRL clubs, he will join Gold Coast for his third stint as a Titan.

A former Australian Schoolboys star, Fogarty played for the Titans’ under-20s team in 2012 and 2013, before stints at Tweed Heads Seagulls and Burleigh, and a one-year stint with Parramatta in 2016.

Fogarty returned to the Titans in 2017, making his NRL debut that year against the Wests Tigers and finishing with two first-grade appearances.

A Beaudesert junior, Fogarty’s signature represents an affirmation of the Titans’ commitment to fostering talent from the Club’s local catchment area, and providing a development pathway through ISC affiliates Burleigh and Tweed for the region’s juniors to reach the NRL.

“Jamal is a terrifically talented footballer, but in the past couple of seasons, his game has blossomed with greater experience and the responsibility of leadership,” said Titans Head of Performance Mal Meninga.

“I look at a guy like Cody Walker, who got a start at a number of clubs – including the Titans and Melbourne – but didn’t break through to first grade until he was 26 and at South Sydney, when all the aspects of his game had developed.

“I really see the same situation here with Jamal. There is no doubt he is ready to play NRL, and he brings the benefit of his experience, and grand final-winning experience at that, with him to a young squad here at the Titans.”

Fogarty said he was pleasantly surprised to get the call up from the Titans, even after his stellar performance for Burleigh last year

“It is a bit of a weird feeling. I didn’t really think it would happen, but it has,” Fogarty said. “I am really excited and grateful for the opportunity.

“I got good support down at Burleigh with coaching staff and players. And I think my home life and work life have been the most stable it has ever been, which has made life enjoyable and I am enjoying my footy at the moment.

“Along the way we have had some good times down at the Burleigh Bears.”

Fogarty said he was flattered by the comparisons to South Sydney star Walker, who built his game in the Queensland Cup with Easts Tigers before blossoming into one of the NRL’s top-flight players.

“I have definitely taken longer to understand my role, and what I am meant to be as a rugby league player,” he said of being a late-bloomer.

“I am pretty comfortable with where I am at at the moment, but I am always trying to educate myself and trying to improve.

“If I can follow the steps of someone like Cody Walker – he has done an amazing job, and I won’t be that good – but if I can replicate something along the lines of that and take it to the next level, that would be awesome.”

Fogarty said following the Titans’ development pathways from junior level in Beaudesert, through the Intrust Super Cup competition, and finally to the NRL with the Titans while never leaving his support networks on the Gold Coast.

“It is pretty cool when I look back on it,” he said. “I started at the Tweed Seagulls when I was here the first time, all those years ago. I made the switch to Burleigh and that is pretty much home now.

“All my friends and family are close by, so I definitely think the Gold Coast is home, and that is where I am the most comfortable.”