Samford is a town located in the Moreton Bay region of south east Queensland, roughly 23 kilometres north west of Brisbane.
Thaiday has signed with the Samford's Open Men's Division 2 side and has thus far played two games, playing in a Round 1 loss to Brothers at lock, and from the bench in another loss during Round 2 against Aspley.
He also managed a conversion in the game against Aspley, with the larger than live larrikin drawing a large crowd to the game.
The presence of a former international player has sparked interest in the local league, bringing larger crowds to the grounds.
Stags president Craig Urquhart told the Queensland Rugby League website that Thaiday wanted to play footy again and give back to his community, while claiming he is registered to play and paid his fees just like any other player.
“He’s lived in Samford for eight years and wanted to just give back to the community,” Urquhart said.
“Everyone in Samford is talking about rugby league now. We have a really strong soccer club here, so to hear that rugby league is being talked about so much is fantastic.”
“Sam kicked one from the sideline and he was getting heckled but everyone was just really enjoying the day. It’s almost like having his presence there levels the crowd because everyone is excited to see Sam get the ball or make a tackle or come off the bench.
“He’s very generous with his time, very humble. It will take him 20 minutes to walk to the dressing room after the game because spectators grab him and want to take photos."
After a 304-game career for the Brisbane Broncos, which spanned 15 years, Thaiday has the opportunity his wisdom and knowledge of the game onto younger players in the competition.
“What I like seeing as well is all the young 18, 19, 20-year-olds in the team and how he takes time out to talk to them about how they’re running or what they’re doing or how they make tackles," Urquhart continued.
“All those guys will get to say they played with Sam Thaiday. That’s pretty cool for the guys.”
Thaiday has a role with the under-17s side, where he will address the squad pre-match.
The club has seen an uptick in junior participation, with more than 50 players under six signed up and a doubling in under-7s teams.