At the start of 2020 not many Titans fans knew the name Jaimin Jolliffe, but come the end of the season the hard-working no-nonsense front rower had endeared himself to the Titans faithful.
The 23-year-old former Newtown Jets front-rower moved to the Gold Coast with little more than an opportunity in the off-season but emerged as a success story of the NRL train and trial contract system.
By the time Jolliffe had played his 16th and final game for the season he had become a regular starter in the resurgent Titans forward pack.
And he would have added to his tally if not for an ankle injury in Round 17 against the Canterbury Bulldogs that ended his debut season prematurely.
Jolliffe arrived at the Titans on November 18 with a chance to ignite an NRL career by joining the Gold Coast’s squad, if he could impress new coach Justin Holbrook.
Lured north by the Burleigh Bears, who Jolliffe beat in last year’s Interstate Championship game playing with the Newtown Jets, he went on to secure a 2020 NRL contract with the Titans, made his NRL debut and extended his contract for a further two years.
At the time of making his debut in Round 1, Jolliffe said.
"I came here just on a train and trial. Burleigh gave me an opportunity to come up here and test myself. I can’t thank the club enough for just giving me an opportunity, they took me seriously, I gave it my best and they’ve rewarded me," Jolliffe said.
"My goal was to lock down a spot in the squad. I just wanted to keep impressing.
"I never thought that I would get the debut. It was in the future, that was a long-term goal." Jolliffe said
Jolliffe grabbed his opportunity with both hands and was awarded the Rookie of the Year award at the Titans Paul Broughton Medal ceremony earlier this month to cap off the memorable year.
With recovery from his ankle injury well underway Jolliffe will be fit and firing for 2021 pre-season come November.
Jaimin Jolliffe's Year by the numbers
- 16 appearances
- 6 wins
- 435 tackles
- 91.9% tackle efficiency
- 1487 run metres