After coming from the Premiership winning Melbourne Storm team to join the Gold Coast, it’s no surprise that Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is asked to compare the two Clubs and locations.
Speaking with the Sportsday team on SEN, he was quizzed on some of the big questions before getting in to discussing his focus for 2021 on-field.
Q: How’s the coffee going Tino, does Gold Coast compare with Melbourne?
I like my caramel latte’s. They’re not bad up here but honestly I do miss the Melbourne ones.
Q: Moving from an AFL town to an NRL town, have you noticed the difference?
Down in Melbourne I wouldn’t get recognised at all, but here people come up and want a photo or to say hello and they’re very respectful so I’m enjoying it.
Q: Have you adjusted to a new climate for pre-season?
It’s a bit more humid on the Gold Coast compared to Melbourne but Melbourne can still get hot. I’m now used to the weather, growing up in Queensland I’ve adapted pretty quick.
Turning to the on-field side of things, Tino was asked to compare the styles of coaches Craig Bellamy (Storm) and Justin Holbrook (Titans).
“Justin is probably not as intense as Craig,” Fa’asuamaleaui laughed.
“They are both similar in their own different ways if that makes sense.
“They both love their footy and they understand the game and I’ve been learning a lot from Justin.”
Now one of the brightest prospects in the NRL, Fa’asuamaleaui says footy wasn’t always his focus growing up.
“My parents let me play any sport growing up,” he said.
“I reckon I was around 10 or 11 when I started so I was a bit later to it than other kids.
“Watching football was always big in our house.
“Footy was massive on the weekends, but at the start it was more me playing any sport.
“I was a fast bowler at cricket at school, but I couldn’t bat.”
Thankfully for footy fans he dropped the red ball and found the Steeden.
After a breakout 2020 season that included an Origin series win with Queensland and a premiership ring, Fa’asuamaleaui has some clear personal goals for 2021 in the representative space.
“When I see videos of me in Origin of me in the Grand Final I still think is that real and I pinch myself a bit,” he said.
“Hopefully I get in the Queensland team again and cement myself in the number 13, but it’d be pretty amazing to get an Aussie jersey and that’s the dream.”
Before rep honours this season, the focus is on performing with the Titans and that will start with the Club’s trial match against the New Zealand Warriors at Lismore’s Oakes Oval on February 27.
“I can’t wait to stop running and start playing footy.
“I’ve been training at lock, at prop and they’re similar positions so I’ve been training in both and I’ve also done a little bit of second row, so I’m a bit of an all-rounder.
“I think we will be bringing our full strength team and we will hopefully get the win in the trial.
“It is a bit of a weird one (playing them in round one), so hopefully we can pick up their strategies but it’ll be interesting in round one.”