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Tweed Seagulls: Cup gains and losses for 2024

Tom Steadman had never played in a trial match as intense as the one he was part of last year between the Burleigh Bears and Tweed Seagulls.

The Central Coast product was new to the Gold Coast at the time, after originally moving from New South Wales in 2021 to play two years with the Northern Pride.

He signed with the Bears for 2023 and was warned about the rivalry that existed between his club and Tweed.

But he still wasn’t prepared for what was ahead.

Now this Saturday, he will engage in that fierce pre-season showdown once again but from the other side of the fence after joining the Seagulls.

“We had the same trial this time last year and I know some of the boys had mentioned leading into it that there is that rivalry,” the playmaker said ahead of Saturday.

“I’ve never before been in a trial game that felt like a semi-final. They’re always intense games… there’s no real love lost between the two clubs on the field.

“But what happens on the field, stays on the field and we all know each other off it.

“It will be good fun this weekend going out against some of the boys I played with last year. But for this weekend, I have my mindset on playing good footy and trying to cement that spot in the starting side.”

The 24-year-old said he made the switch for 2024 after Tweed showed interest in him, along with the promise of a train and trial with the Gold Coast Titans.

As much as he loved his time at the Bears and playing under coach Luke Burt, Steadman is determined to develop his game and felt the Seagulls presented the best opportunity for that.

“Burleigh was really good… I really liked playing under Burty and with the rest of the boys there,” he said.

“We obviously had a pretty good year, getting to the grand final.

“Tweed, they just showed some interest in me and I was pretty keen on taking my footy to the next level.

“There was an opportunity to go train with the Titans for the pre-season and go to Tweed afterwards. It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

“After doing the six weeks and now being back at Tweed, I’m definitely glad I made the move.”

Tweed’s changes for season 2024 are minimal.

They have only lost three players from last year’s squad, with Brent Woolf and Jaron Purcell heading north together to join the Redcliffe Dolphins, while Ryland Jacobs is taking a year off for personal reasons.

Coming into the squad, there are only four new faces, including Steadman, his former Burleigh teammate Vaka Sikahele, Ipswich Jets forward Jerome Veve and - in a return to the club after stints at Norths and Redcliffe – winger, Brayden McGrady.

Tom Steadman in Tweed pre-season. Photo: Bailey Sands/Tweed Seagulls
Tom Steadman in Tweed pre-season. Photo: Bailey Sands/Tweed Seagulls

Having gelled quickly with fellow spine players Will Brimson and Lindon McGrady, and with the Titans pre-season under his belt, Steadman is now hopeful to make an impact with Tweed this year.

“I’m hoping to really cement my spot as a playmaker in that Tweed side,” he said.

“Getting the opportunity to train at the Titans, you get to see what it’s like to be at that level day in, day out. I’m hoping to take some things I learnt there into my game this year.

“It’s about really having a defensive sort of mindset. Training under (Titans coach) Des (Hasler), he’s pretty big with his defensive attitudes and big on building the game around having a solid, defensive base.

“That’s a part of my game I can get right. Then having (veteran Titans playmaker) Kieran Foran, I was able to watch him and learn off him and see how he reads the game, how he plays and some things I can steal and put into my own game.

“I just want to have a consistent year, trying to play good footy for the full year. I’ve had a few years in Cup now and consistency has been my issue.

“Whether it’s consistency in performance or playing in the one position, I’d just like to try to stay injury-free and play good footy either at six or seven and hopefully try to get into the finals to go all the way.”

As for the club as a whole, they have their sights set on correcting some of the disappointments of 2024.

The Seagulls fell out of the finals race in the very last round, suffering a 37-12 loss to the Sunshine Coast Falcons on home turf, with a few other results failing to go their way.

For a team that looked like they were finals-bound for the majority of the season, it was a bitter pill to swallow and new face Steadman can still feel that hurt around Tweed.

But he also knows they’re channelling that disappointment from last year into a more hopeful 2024.

“There was no doubt there were a few people surprised Tweed didn’t make the finals last year,” Steadman said.

“Coming to training post-Christmas break though, I can see there’s still blood burning from last year.

“They’re keen to get back into it to prove a point. We have the squad to do it and seeing some of the names we’ll be getting back during the year (from NRL affiliate, the Titans), it obviously helps.

“But it’s important the Tweed-based boys we have really drive that culture and mindset that we want to be the best in the comp… the boys from the Titans will jump on board.

“So far it’s everyone on board to go all the way because I think that’s where everyone knows we can go.”

Main image: Tom Steadman. Photo: Bailey Sands/Tweed Seagulls

Tweed Seagulls 2024 gains and losses


Brayden McGrady (Redcliffe Dolphins), Vaka Sikahele (Burleigh Bears), Tom Steadman (Burleigh Bears), Jerome Veve (Ipswich Jets)


Ryland Jacobs (personal reasons), Jaron Purcell (Redcliffe Dolphins), Brent Woolf (Redcliffe Dolphins)

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.