Titans winger Anthony Don will open contract negotiations with Gold Coast as soon as this week as he looks to ink an extension with the club.
One of the great feel-good stories of rugby league, the 30-year old could earn more money on the open market, but is staying loyal to the team that gave him his first opportunity in 2013.
Don has grown into a cult hero for the Titans, earning the Paul Broughton Medal in 2017 as the club’s best and fairest after an outstanding breakout campaign on the wing.
The New South Wales local is believed to currently be on a deal worth $180,000 per season, which makes him one of the great value contracts in the NRL.
And Don wants to remain faithful to the place where he has a found a real home and a club he loves.
“I’m obviously off contract. I haven’t had many negotiations, so I was just going to wait until it happened (but) we’ll probably look to start,” Don told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be there or not but we’ll probably find out in the next month or so.
“I love the Titans and I love the Gold Coast, so if it happens, that’d be great.
“But we’re in an industry where you can get moved on pretty quickly, so you’ve got to be open to the idea of moving.
“You’d love to stay but you might have to go.
“If I’m playing good footy and doing my best on the field, that will take care of itself.
“But my focus is on playing good week to week.”
Don is proof that scouts should search far and wide and not place age barriers on potential recruits, given he did not blossom until his late 20s.
And he preaches how every day he is grateful for the opportunity to play the game he is passionate about.
“Almost every day I think how lucky I am just to playing a sport (professionally) I would be playing for nothing anyway,” he said.
“It’s just the love of the game.
“Obviously I didn’t debut until I was 25, so I can really appreciate how few people make the NRL and how good a job it is once you’re in there playing.
“There’s some tough times in pre-season and some tough training sessions and you’re away from home a lot but just to run out there with the boys and represent the Gold coast community is something I’ll cherish forever.”