Mini's desire to be 10-year Titan
His brother may be the face of the game but Mark Minichiello wants to create his own piece of history by becoming the first player to play 10 years at the Gold Coast Titans.
Now in his eight season with the Titans, Minichiello and Luke Bailey are the only two players to have been at the Titans since the club's introduction in 2007 and the bustling back-rower is eyeing off a contract extension that will see him finish his career on the Gold Coast.
Last year Minichiello became the first player to reach 150 games for the club and with a total of 237 NRL games to his name and a strong desire to continue playing beyond 2014, he is eyeing off 10 years with the Titans and 300 games as a nice way to end his career.
"I reckon I've definitely got that in me, I really hope that I can achieve that here at the club," Minichiello said of possibly playing 10 years at the Titans.
"My body's feeling really good, I definitely want to play on and I'd love it to be here on the Coast. I've been here for eight years now and I'd love to finish my career up here but I definitely want to keep playing. If that's here then that'd be great."
Coming off one of the most disappointing losses in the club's history last weekend, Minichiello said that fans can expect to see a significant attitude adjustment from the team that leaked 42 points against the Wests Tigers.
Struck down by a virus that stripped his frame of four kilograms, Minichiello himself wasn't able to play in Round 2 but insists it was an uncharacteristic performance that won't be repeated at Canberra on Sunday evening.
"Just watching it myself I thought we were off the pace from the start and that is only an attitude thing," the 32-year-old said. "Both teams have got to play in the heat and we were off the pace and that comes down to attitude so I think that will be our big improvement this week."
Following the financial difficulties that besieged the club two years ago, 2014 represents a critical year for the Titans as they attempt to rebuild any faith that fans may have lost. Having made the semi-final in 2009 and preliminary final in 2010, the Titans have finished 16th, 11th and ninth the past three seasons but Minichiello believes the club is entering a second successful phase, admitting the off-field difficulties impacted on on-field performance.
"At the time you try and tell yourself that it didn't but now that we're through that period I think looking back on that period it definitely played some part in the way that we went on the field," Minichiello admitted. "Not using that as an excuse, we still should have been performing, but at some stage it plays a bit of a role.
"We did finish  quite well, although we didn't make the finals. A few things have changed both upstairs in the office and in the coaching ranks as well so I think they're steps forward for the club and we're hopefully going to benefit from all of that stability this year."
With three young boys all aged three or under, Minichiello is happy to make the Gold Coast his home long-term but won't be satisfied until he can revisit one of the favourite moments of his career but this time, help the Titans qualify for their first grand final.
"When we played my brother (Roosters captain Anthony Minichiello) in the major semi to make the Grand Final, that was pretty special," Minichiello said of his career highlights. "Although we went down that day and I tore my groin late in the game that was a pretty special day, to try and make the grand final against my brother, that one stands out.
"I'm pretty close to bringing up [250 games] and hopefully I do bring it up this year but I just want to play well week in and week out for the Titans and make sure that we're playing finals football this year.
"That's my main focus, I want to play in a Grand Final for the Titans and that's what we want to do this year. If that happens I'll play 250 and then hopefully keep going."