The Titan still calling Brisbane home

It's being billed as Josh Hoffman's return to Brisbane but in a literal sense the former Bronco never left.

 

Having spent seven years as a member of the Broncos' NRL squad Hoffman will on Friday night head to the away sheds at Suncorp Stadium for the first time in his career as the Titans look to arrest an alarming slide against the competition front-runners.

Hoffman is one of only three Titans players to have appeared in every game this season and after filling in at five-eighth for three games returned to his preferred position of fullback against the Knights last Saturday.

Splitting time between spots has been the theme of Hoffman's year to date as he has done the daily commute from Brisbane to Titans training at Burleigh due to the impending arrival of he and wife Emma's second child Evie May, who was born on June 3.

Now that two-year-old Leilani has a little sister, Hoffman and his family will look more closely at making the move south and the 27-year-old conceded that the extra travel has been particularly tough on the women in his life.

"It's kind of hard because I'm not around, especially for the little one, my little girl," Hoffman told NRL.com. "She's getting a lot older and starting to realise that I'm not at home as much. It makes it hard for her because I'm hardly ever home during the day but when I do come home I try to spend as much time with her as I can.

"Being away from her for so long all I want to do is cuddle her and play with her and Mum gets frustrated because she wants to put her down and stick to the routines but Dad just ruins everything."

When Hoffman agreed to leave the Broncos in order to take up a three-year deal on the Gold Coast a big part of his reasoning was not having to relocate his young family, a move he says they are now preparing to make.

"Eventually we'll move down here. With the training moving to Parkwood, we'll look somewhere close to there or somewhere in between even just so that we're still a bit closer to Emma's mum and dad," said Hoffman.

"At the moment it's very helpful because her mum and dad are just up the road so any time we need to drop Leilani off for a bit of babysitting we can just take her up to her mum and dad's so it's pretty handy for us."

Although it has made his home life more manageable, Hoffman's move to the Gold Coast will have a significant influence on his performances on the field, according to Titans coach Neil Henry.

Having been shifted between fullback, centre and five-eighth in his first year at the club Henry concedes that Hoffman hasn't been as dominant as either of them would have liked in 2015 but is expecting him to take on a more senior role next season.

"By his own admission he knows he could contribute more and that's what he was recruited for, to be one of our senior players," Henry told NRL.com.

"He's just had the new baby and that was the reason he and his wife weren't able to get organised (to move to the Gold Coast) and I think that's a major distraction, the amount of travelling he does.

"He's looking forward to being down this way and a lot closer and that will happen next year."

Easily wrapped around Leilani's little finger, Hoffman admits he sometimes "brings in the deep voice" and that the extra responsibility at home has enabled him to develop as a footballer since her arrival in 2013.

"It's played a big part in my footy, maturing as a man," Hoffman said of fatherhood.

"When I didn't have that responsibility of having a child I had more to focus on with my game and my personal life and the way that I handled myself personally off the field was the way that I played.

"Having a kid now I've got more responsibilities and a lot on my shoulders now just to be the man of the house and look after my wife and little ones.

"I'm still learning becoming a dad but it's fun at the same time."

Video courtesy of titans.com.au