Titans keen to stitch up centre deal
THE Titans will table a new two-year deal for Dale Copley in a boost for the centre ahead of his return from injury against Melbourne as part of the Suncorp Stadium double-header on Saturday night.
Sidelined for the past month with a hamstring complaint, Copley's comeback has a silver lining with Titans coach Garth Brennan declaring the injury-prone flyer has a future on the Gold Coast.
Entering this year, the luckless Copley had played 105 games in eight seasons - an average of just 13 matches a year - due to a crippling succession of concussions and lower-leg injuries.
But Brennan is determined to show faith in the 26-year-old, believing Copley has more to offer the Titans as he prepares for a daunting centre duel with the Storm's Test star Will Chambers.
"We want to keep Dale here," Brennan said.
"We're just waiting on our finance guy to go through the salary cap and advise me what we can pay, but I'll be making an offer to Dale's management in the coming days.
"I don't think Dale is keen to move interstate again. He has done it before with the Roosters but he seems to enjoy the Gold Coast and I'd like to think we can finalise a deal soon.
"We want Dale here for at least the next two years, so hopefully he wants to be part of our future."
Copley was a try-scoring machine in the Broncos under-20s and Brisbane coaching staff believed it was only a matter of time before he broke into the State of Origin arena.
Constant injuries have prevented Copley from wearing Maroon at senior level but Brennan has always been a fan of his strength, quick feet and tryscoring prowess.
"When I was coaching in the under-20s, I used to keep a black book and any opposition player who used to impress me, I would write their name down in the book," Brennan said.
"Dale Copley was a name I wrote down early on.
"When I arrived here, I told Dale about my black book and how much of a fan I was.
"The one issue for Dale is that he has had injuries throughout his career but there is no questioning his talent.
"He did a great job on James Roberts when we beat the Broncos earlier this season, so he has something to offer us."
Copley started the year in great touch, scoring three tries in six games, and hopes an impressive performance against Chambers can help him secure a new deal.
"It would be nice to get another contract," he said. "I'm not too worried, getting back from injury has been my focus.
"If I'm playing good footy, it will work out.
"It (his latest hamstring injury) came at an ordinary time. I was pretty happy with the start to the year and hopefully I can pick up where I left off.
"Melbourne will be physical but I feel fresh and ready to go."