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The Titans always held out hope of convincing David Fifita to remain on the Gold Coast with CEO Steve Mitchell saying the club was "over the moon" with the marquee forward's retention.

Having given the Maroons representative the week to mull over his decision to forgo an option in his contract and ink a long-term deal with the Roosters, the Titans were approached by Fifita's management on Tuesday with the shock news that the 24-year-old was now keen to take up the two-year player option.

After his management also reached out to the Roosters and "express doubt about his decision" according to a statement from the club, the Titans' held internal conversations to quickly approve the option for the coming two years.

Mitchell said the organisation was always optimistic that Fifita would have a change of heart once he had the time to think through his decision and numerous conversations with coach Des Hasler throughout the week.

'We love working with him': Titans CEO on Fifita's decision to stay

"Dave's had a think through his career and what that would like over the coming years... the chance to process where he'll be and what that means," Mitchell said on Wednesday.Β 

"His family is critical for him – his mum and grandmother come to games regularly and his family are engaged with our club events – and he really enjoys the environment here with Des.

"Having the week to process that without the public scrutiny, the chance to process the sum of the total parts together – he then made a positive decision.

"The [player] option was sitting there and there was an opportunity for him to take it up.

"We've always hoped Dave would say. He's a proud man, culturally rich, his family are close to the club, he's a Queenslander and he likes the environment, so we were always optimistic... and we love working with him," he said.

"As an organisation we're over the moon with that as he'll play a critical role in us being successful on the field. He's got a great relationship with the coach and his footy over the last five to six weeks speaks to that."

Fifita's recommitment to the Gold Coast is not a long-term contract extension, with the forward taking up the player option in his contract that will see him remain on the books with the Titans for the next two yearsΒ 

Mitchell conceded that the decision to include player options in contracts – including that of captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui – had been a negative for the club, and one that they would revisit moving forward.

"It's a distraction," he said.

"From a best practice point of view, we want to move out of it. But I don't believe it'll be a circus next year with Tino [when he has to decide his future.]

"We didn't want to change [Dave's] contract – we just wanted to get back to work."

Titans teammates Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and David Fifita.
Titans teammates Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and David Fifita. ©NRL Photos

Fifita's partner, Indigenous All Stars representative and NRLW star Shaylee Bent, is signed through at the Titans for 2024 with the club also confident in securing the 23-year-old's services for the coming two years in line with Fifita's contract.

Discussions are also ongoing with Kieran Foran around a new deal with the veteran playmaker off contract at season's end.

"Shaylee Bent is signed for 2024 so now hopefully we can keep that going into 2025 and 2026," Mitchell said. "She's a great talent and delightful to work with so we can start those conversations.

"For Kieran, from a game management point of view, he's been exceptional.

"We want Kieran with us as long as we can keep him. From a leadership point of view, on field and off, he's been exceptional for us – beyond expectation."

The Titans' try-savers handed them the win

The Roosters formally withdrew their offer to Fifita on Wednesday with attention for the Tricolours now turning to secure the services of Angus Crichton.

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.