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Sami and Thompson spurred on by ‘healthy competitiveness’

Corey Thompson and Phillip Sami couldn’t be further apart on the field, with the two wingers to stand on opposite flanks. 

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But it’s their closeness that’s helping drive a “healthy competitiveness” between the two Titans, with their relationship dating back to junior footy.

“When I was in under 18’s at South’s Acacia Ridge in Brisbane, Phil’s dad was my coach and Phil was the ballboy,” Thompson said.

“Phil’s brother was in the team as well, so I’ve known Phil’s family for a long time.

“It was good to come to the Club and get the chance to play alongside him.”

Sami says the addition of Thompson who joined the Titans squad mid-season from the Wests Tigers has been a positive for his own game.

“I’m really close with Corey,” Sami said.

“I grew up with him and my older brother.

“To have him there giving advice and telling me what to do, it’s good for my game.

“He has got a lot of experience in the NRL and has played an NRL Grand Final with the Bulldogs.

“I think it is a good thing for the Club that we’ve got someone like Corey in our team that makes us push for our spots.

“It makes you want to perform well because you know you’ve got someone good or even better (waiting).”

Seven years his junior, Thompson says while he hopes he can help Sami with his development, he is also learning from the 23-year-old.

“I’ve known Phil for a long time and I’m more than happy to help him get better and to see him grow as a player,” Thompson said.

“I’m trying to help him grow but I’m also learning things off him too.

“These young players are freaks these days and I’m always trying to learn new things.

“Phil has got all the attacking power that a winger needs.

“He is fast, he can finish, and he runs the ball well, but I think I can help him in the one percenter areas.”

With AJ Brimson back into the Titans squad in recent weeks, Thompson has been fighting for a position in the Gold Coast’s back three but says he doesn’t mind which number is on his back.

“I just love playing,” Thompson said.

“I’ve played a lot of wing during my career and I feel comfortable there.

“If I get that fullback spot I’ll try my best, but I just want to try and be on the field at the same time as AJ and if that’s on the wing then I’m going to try my hardest to do that.”