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'Flying Phil' returns: Sami looking sharp after re-signing

Word around the Gold Coast is 'Flying Phil' is back.

24-year-old Sami, who has just recommitted to the Titans until the end of 2024, is looking fit and firing, ready to conquer the new year ahead after injury plagued the 73-game speedster last season.

Too humble to admit he's impressed the playing group by returning from the break with a fresh body and mind - dropping six kilograms, the 2020 Origin winger puts a lot of his reinvigoration down to spending the break with his young family.

"I’m trying my best. Obviously, I had a good off-season and enjoyed it with my little family," Sami said.

"I’m back here doing all the hard work now, so I’m looking forward to the season ahead."

Fit, firing and ready for a big year ahead.
Fit, firing and ready for a big year ahead.

Relishing the festive holidays in North Queensland reuniting with extended family and using the time off in between to get in the best possible shape for 2022, Sami has enjoyed returning to the grind with the rest of the Titans' tight-knit playing group.

"I went to Townsville [for Christmas] and we drove there. It took us 16 hours," Titan #128 said.

"It was a pretty long drive, but we did eight hours each day. We tried to cut it up into small pieces, but it was still a long drive.

"We ended up spending [Christmas] with my partner’s family who we hadn’t seen in a couple of years, so it was really good to get around them and just spend Christmas there.

"In the off-season, I was just laying low really. I didn’t really do much.

"I was just trying to get myself into shape and give myself the best chance of making the top 17 and just trying to make pre-season a lot easier too but, it doesn’t seem that way.

"[Returning to pre-season] has been good. It’s been pretty hard like it always is. All the boys have come back in good shape.

"We’ve got a tight group here and all the boys are looking forward to playing some footy."

All smiles for Sami at pre-season.
All smiles for Sami at pre-season.

Extending his current stay at the Gold Coast for a further two seasons, the former Titans under 20s back is excited to be part of the new generation of the club with the launch of a fresh look and two new franchises - NRLW and Netball.

"I’ve obviously been here quite a while now and to see the young group we’ve got here now, it’s pretty exciting," Sami said.

"Obviously, the re-branding with the new logo and the netball team and the women’s team... I think a lot of exciting things are coming for the Gold Coast and it’ll be a good place to be living in."

Starting his journey in the Titans development system in 2016 in the then-Holden Cup before his first grade debut in Round 15, 2017, the experienced flyer is excited to play alongside a number of other youngsters who have followed in his footsteps through the club's pathways program.

"It’s been good to see the young boys come through, like JC (Jayden Campbell) and Toby (Sexton)," Sami said.

"I’ve also been here since the start with AJ (Brimson), so it’s been a pretty cool ride with him. We’ve been here for seven years now I think.

"It’s good to see the young boys come up as well."

Sami with long-time teammate and 'bro' AJ Brimson.
Sami with long-time teammate and 'bro' AJ Brimson.

The long-term Titan certainly has no complaints either about continuing to live on the Gold Coast with partner Chloe and young son Velzy.

"The Gold Coast is a really nice place to be living in and my son loves the beaches," Sami said.

"It’s good to take him there every weekend with my little dog, who is my other son, and Chloe loves living here.

"She’s finds it more enjoyable than Townsville, so she’s not complaining."

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Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.