Titans centre Dale Copley says approaching a critical period of his career is not playing on his mind.
He faces his previous team, Sydney Roosters, for the first time on Saturday with contract negotiations reaching a pinnacle stage.
The 26-year-old has been released from his past two contracts, by the Broncos at the end of 2015 and the Roosters last March and is looking for the security of a long-term deal on the Gold Coast.
He said he was hoping his future would be settled in the next fortnight, either side of the Titans’ bye in round 13, but "it’s not something that is keeping me awake at night".
The Ingham-born and Brisbane-raised Copley has never quite achieved NRL permanency since making his debut at fullback for the Broncos as a 17-year-old in 2009, playing 20 games or more only once in a decade (2014 with the Broncos).
However, he has become an established member of the Gold Coast backline since his switch from the Roosters after round two last year, playing in 27 of their 32 games since (missing five though injury).
"It would be ideal if I could stay here but I have learned in the past couple of years you can’t rely on anything happening," Copley said.
Roosters v Titans - Round 12
"I’ll let that play out and hopefully something will be sorted in the next couple of weeks.
"No it’s not playing on mind. That’s why you pay an agent; they can do all that work for you, so you can focus on what’s really important.
"I probably wouldn’t be at this stage [in negotiations] if I wasn’t playing good footy, so that’s my focus at the moment – doing my job and getting better each week."
His main focus is the Roosters, who are coming off a controversial loss to Brisbane, at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.
He will come up against former teammate Mitch Aubusson, who he knows is not a regular centre but one of the toughest and most consistent competitors in the Telstra Premiership.
"He is one of the most under-rated players in the NRL and no matter where’s he put he does his job," Copley said of the 30-year-old 250-game veteran.
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"He could play every position on the field if he had to. They love him down there because they just know he’ll get the job done and I know I’m in for a pretty tough task. He plays the game hard and it’s going to be a challenge to me.
“They are one of the heavyweights of the competition and every time they’ve come off a loss they have played pretty well. They’ve changed their roster a fair bit since I was there, and they’re playing a bit differently.
“We’ve got a job to do and they have a job to do so I don’t think I hold any secrets about them [by playing for the Roosters]. ‘Flash’ [fullback Michael Gordon] has been there more recently.”