Gold Coast coach Neil Henry says he expects five-eighth Aidan Sezer to play at his best for the Titans despite confirmation he’ll be leaving the NRL club at season’s end.
Canberra confirmed on Friday they had signed 23-year-old Sezer on a three-year deal from 2016, ending weeks of speculation about his future.
Henry says the Titans had done all they could to retain Sezer, who debuted for the club in 2012 and has gone on to play 58 times in the NRL in four years.
The Titans’ big-money move to secure Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans on a four-year deal from next season put Sezer’s future at the club in jeopardy but Henry says he’s got no hard feelings.
“We wish him all the best, he’s an exciting young player and we couldn’t come to terms with an offer that he was able to get,” Henry said.
“He was upfront about it.
“We expect the players, who are professional players, to get on and get the best out of their season. I expect no different from Aidan.”
The signing is a win for Canberra coach Ricky Stuart who has struggled to lure talent to the nation’s capital.
Raiders chief executive Don Furner said beating the likes of Manly for Sezer’s signature is a coup.
“Aidan is a fantastic young talent who we are excited about joining the club next season and we believe he will fit in perfectly to the squad we are building for the future,” Furner said in a statement.
The Titans will now be hopeful of securing a new deal for reigning under-20s player of the Kane Elgey, who is also coming off contract at the end of the 2015 campaign.
The 21-year-old halfback, who debuted against Cronulla in round four and has played in the Titans’ past three matches, is reportedly also attracting interest from other clubs though Henry is hopeful he can keep the highly-rated prospect.
“We’ve got an offer in for Kane but I think now we know there’s other clubs interested in Kane as well,” he said.
“It’ll be a matter of whether he makes a decision to stay on the Gold Coast being a Gold Coast boy and given his opportunity to play first grade here this season.
“Hopefully we can come to a resolution there that he stays on the Coast.”