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  • Gold Coast rookie Ash Taylor proving a steal for the Titans

    ROOKIE revelation Ash Taylor could be the greatest halfback steal since the Cowboys lured Johnathan Thurston north, as the Titans’ brave recruitment strategy pays off.

    The Courier-Mail can reveal how Taylor, man of the match in back-to-back games, is on less than $200,000 a season, which is one fifth of Daly Cherry-Evans’ $1.2 million dollar Manly salary.

    New details have also emerged about how the Titans’ recruitment policies have paid dividends in their unlikely rise to eighth position despite having significant room left in their cap.

    Ash Taylor could be a pivotal signing for the Titans.

    Taylor’s salary is even lower than the $300,000 worth of third-party deals the Titans had secured for Cherry-Evans before he backflipped.

    Cherry-Evans’ rejection could become the pivotal moment in Gold Coast’s history. Taylor’s recruitment, after the ex-Maroon reneged, is the key plank in the Titans’ buying policy.

    Quite simply, they buy talent others don’t rate and back themselves to bring the best out of them.

    The strategy was created by Jamie Mathiou and Neil Henry and then continued with Brian Canavan and chief executive Graham Annesley.

    That plan saw them have $1.1 million of cap space available for this season.

    Annesley confirmed the club still had cap space even after signing Nathan Peats and Konrad Hurrell.

    The Titans, who have won three games straight, are littered with players other clubs discarded.

    Nene Macdonald, Nathan Davis, Tyrone Roberts, Nathan Friend, Leivaha Pulu, Agnatius Paasi, Eddy Pettybourne and Hurrell were all unwanted by NRL clubs.

    Macdonald was bought for less than $100,000, Paasi is on $120,000, Tyrone Roberts was a steal at around $100,000, Nathan Friend is one minimum wage, Nathan Davis is on $60,000, Pulu is on $60,000.

    For those players the Titans shed Nate Myles, Dave Taylor, Kevin Gordon and Aidan Sezer while James Roberts left for Brisbane.

    Taylor, 21, is the best buy of them all. He can become a genuine superstar at the Titans, their first since Scott Prince left for the Broncos.

    Taylor already looks set for a bright future.

    “He essentially came to us as a rookie, having only played one first-grade game for the Broncos in which he broke his hand,” Annesley said.

    “On his form with us so far he certainly has turned out to be one of the finds of the season.

    “Neil and the coaching staff have done a tremendous job moulding the boys into a very committed squad with great belief and confidence in themselves.

    “Considering where we were when Daly reversed his decision last year, our halves have really stepped up and done a fantastic job.

    “We still have room in the cap but as we are so close to June 30 it is unlikely we will be further adding to our ranks this season.

    “We are very happy with the way the current players are performing.”

    The Titans can entrench their top-eight position with victory over the Eels on Saturday in Darwin.

  • "Taylor’s salary is even lower than the $300,000 worth of third-party deals the Titans had secured for Cherry-Evans before he backflipped."

    Um, how were the Titans allowed to do this?

    • Because there is a 600k marquee player allowance at each club where the club can source 3rd party deals for them
    • Aren't they owned by NRL?

    • Agreed Dave, and this $600k MPL allows every player to agree to illegal TPAs while still claiming innocence ("I thought my TPAs were legit under the Marquee Player Allowance!")
  • & the Titans are owned by the NRL, meaning there's absolutely nil chance they are somehow spending over the cap.

    That gives me confidence, that although we will be heavily scrutinized in every aspect of tpa's, all you need is a great coach and good juniors coming through.

    That's why re-signing Brad Arthur now is non negotiable.
  • Wow they got Paasi for $120k! I thought he would have been a great pick up for us with Junior leaving. Goes to show the merits in taking a calculated risk with some of your signings. No mention of Chris McQueen who was a great pick up, no idea how much he is on though.

    • Well half these guys will now need upgraded contracts, especially mcqueen, paasi, james, taylor. They are lucky they got peats off us and Hurrell off Warriors. they are the recipitents of other clubs misfortunes. I'm pretty sure we are paying Peats  contract for the remainder of this season. why would Friend be on minimum wage as a ten yr plus NRL player? players like Shillington wouldn't have come cheap either. There books need to be scrutinized.

    • Players don't earn big bucks just because they've been playing a long time. Nobody wants to pay big money for old players unless they are still stars. Even ex-stars aren't in high demand, so they don't command big money. Most old players retire because no clubs are willing to pay what the player thinks he's worth.
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