Brimson one to watch for Titans
He is one of many young unknowns at the Gold Coast Titans who rookie coach Garth Brennan may have to call on in the 2018 Telstra Premiership.
And Alexander "AJ" Brimson took little time to show his genuine promise in his first experience of NRL-level football on Saturday night.
The 20-year-old halfback played the full 80 minutes of the trial against a much more experienced Brisbane Broncos side in Toowoomba, the last 20 in the fullback position which has become a second-string bonus asset to Brennan’s young squad.
He showed his renowned sharp speed and ability to find space when he scored a try in the third quarter and handled a barrage of big edge-running forwards that were directed his way on a night that few of the Titans’ fringe players had an opportunity to shine.
Brimson could develop into a Tyrone Roberts-style utility man, a handy back-up or threat to halves Ash Taylor and Kane Elgey, as well as fullback Michael Gordon. Titans insiders feel the youngster, signed until the end of 2020, is a prospect with NRL written all over him.
And while Elgey is the player who may have the most pressure on him if Brimson progresses, AJ paid tribute to the mentoring the former NRL under 20s player of the year has provided.
“Kane and Ash have been tremendous in taking me under their wing,” he said.
“At the end of every season I do kicking and catching with them and they have really helped me; especially Kane being a left foot kicker and left side player like me.
“They’re trying to help me get better and I listen to everything they tell me.”
Brimson, Queensland’s Mal Meninga Cup player of the year in 2016 as a halfback, had never played fullback until thrown there for the final few rounds of Holden Cup that season, and for the last five games of 2017. But it could be where his future lies.
“I thought he did a really good job in his first taste of playing against the big boys,” said Brennan.
“He’s more of a runner; he’s quick and I thought when he went to one he really threatened every time he ran the football.”
One thing Brimson didn’t appear, was overawed in his first match in senior company.
“They were big bodies; especially Matt Lodge when he was coming at me,” he smiled.
“I felt confident. Brenno wanted me to own my role and I concentrated on my defence and was happy with that.
“I wanted to stay out there as long as I could to get used to the pace, so it was a valuable experience.”