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Keeping accountable: Captain Tino relishing Hasler lessons

Titans captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is thriving under the guidance of new coach Des Hasler and is adamant the two-time premiership-winning mentor can bring success to a club that has played finals just twice in the past decade.

“It’s hard to put into one word, but he has got care for his players, he cares and (calls for) accountability,” Fa’asuamaleaui said.

“If there's anything happening on the field, he's the first one to let you know about it.

“I guess that's where the care comes from - he cares about his players and he wants them to improve and that's off-field stuff too. He keeps boys accountable for their actions and also cares with the family side of things and if anyone needs it, so he's the first one there.

“That's what we need at the Titans and that's what us boys want and we've got it now, so we can't let that go and we’ve got to repay Des for what he's done."

Coach Des Hasler has brought a new mindset to the Gold Coast training sessions.
Coach Des Hasler has brought a new mindset to the Gold Coast training sessions. ©Gold Coast Titans Media

Since entering the competition in 2007, the Titans have been part of the September action only four times, while also collecting wooden spoons in 2011 and 2019.

Their best finish cane in 2010 when Preston Campbell, Scott Prince, Mat Rogers and Luke Bailey led them to a preliminary final and Fa'asuamaleaui believes that level can be reached again with Hasler calling the shots.

"One hundred percent, we can challenge for a title, I think we've got the team to do it, we have got the forward pack to do it," he said.

“It's probably the best pre-season I've been a part of and all the boys are ripping in and competing and we're definitely creating our identity, but we still have got to put the actions in.

“Everyone feels good in the pre-season, but when it comes to games, that's when we really need to step up."

At 23, Fa’asuamaleaui is one of the youngest captains in the NRL, so having someone as experienced as Hasler at the helm has helped ease some of the pressure on the skipper.

“He's been there, done it and he's had some great leaders and he's teaching a lot of things and he takes on that pressure of keeping boys accountable," he said.

"I love that, because instead of me having to yell at someone for dropping a ball or what not, he's there to do it.

“And (he’s) the same with me, if I'm making the error, he's there backing me up and pushing me to become the best person I can be and I love that.

“It takes the pressure off me and I have just got to make sure that I'm leading the boys on the field when it comes to game time.”

Fa'asuamaleaui joined Titans teammates Moeaki Fotuaika, David Fifita, AJ Brimson and Beau Fermor at a pre-season Maroons camp last weekend and said their involvement would only help the players perform this season.

He was especially pleased to see Fermor given a crack at that level as he returns from the ruptured ACL he suffered in the pre-season last year.

“It was good, it was good fun, we got a lot out of it,” Fa'asuamaleaui said of the camp held by Queensland coach Billy Slater.

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“It was pretty cool to sit down and learn and I'm excited for the season and hopefully, I get a chance to get back in there (during the series).

“It's good that there's five Titans boys in contention and we've all been working hard and hopefully we can push our name forward when it comes to the series.

“It's good for Beauy, it’s good for his confidence.

“He’s just the type of person who works hard and puts his name forward and Bill knows that, and a lot of people around Beau who know that; we're all happy that he was there on camp with us.

“Hopefully he can get a crack during the year … he's one of our best trainers and he works really hard and I know if he got the chance he would take it with two hands and definitely do his family and his state proud."

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.