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Fab five just the start of Titans talent production line

Karyn Murphy has declared the Gold Coast’s history-making teenage grand final quintet is just the start of what’s to come from the club’s female pathways.

The five 18-year-olds in action at the 2023 decider was a NRL / NRLW record, but the Titans director of female rugby league believes there’s plenty more young talent for the Gold Coast to look forward to thanks to its Under 17 and 19 Academy.

Having produced budding young stars Destiny Mino-Sinapati, Chantay Kiria-Ratu, Sienna Lofipo, Rilee Jorgensen and Dannii Perese who were five of six players who started their year in the program before progressing to the big stage, the recommencement of the female junior program for 2024 is expected to help deliver another wave of young stars to the top grade.

“It's really exciting for our Under 17 and 19 Academies to kick start again,” Murphy said.

“I thought last year was extremely successful with the number of players we were able to promote into our squad, especially having five of the six players feature in the grand final.

“The program really helped with fostering talent… take Destiny for example. We had initially earmarked her for a development contract at first, but the way she applied herself and grew in our Academy made it a no-brainer to bring her straight into the top 24.

“Look what she achieved… she finished the year as a grand finalist and a Test International.

“There’s so much talent here on the Gold Coast and I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to continually work with our local clubs and schools over the past season to continue talent identification and bring together two squads who have begun training, some of which will have the chance to progress to our development squad in 2024.”

In extension to the six players who graduated to the top 24, all four development talents were products of the Titans female pathways program, with Estanoa Faitala, Matekino Gray, Lily Kolc and Malaela Sua set to remain as part of the Titans squad in 2024 after spending the past season learning what it takes to play in the NRLW.

Such progression and elevation from the club's junior systems to the top level is what Titans pathways manager Tim McIntyre is striving to continue achieving, feeling the club is leading the way in that space with an important end goal that is more than just about rugby league.

"If you look at female catchment areas nationwide, I think South East Queensland is probably the strongest and it's our job to keep our girls in local systems and make the Gold Coast Titans as local as we can through our pathways and development," he said.

"I think the Titans have led the way with the female pathway to NRLW transition and it speaks volumes with what you've seen this year with our NRLW side and having eight pathways players in our top 24.

"What was started years ago at this club, people want to be part of it and I think it's just going to continue to grow.

"When players do come to this club, they get an appreciation of what we have... it's something different. You feel like you're part of the club as soon as you walk in and that culture is what we build on.

"It's not just about being a great footy player but about being a good person and that's what we strive to have here."

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.