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Rivals circle but Brimson targets long-term stint as Titans fullback

AJ Brimson has set his sights on making the Titans fullback position his own long term as he finetunes skills under the guidance of Michael Gordon, the man he is set to replace.

The 21-year-old, who has also played in the halves in his 36 NRL games, had an extended run at fullback last season when Gordon was injured and regards the role as his best position.

Gordon, now retired, is back at the Titans as a development coach where he is assisting the back five with their skills.

Brimson is off contract at the end of 2020 and other clubs have expressed interest to his manager Jim Banaghan. Brimson, who went to school on the Gold Coast at league powerhouse Keebra Park High, said he wanted to stay at the Titans and has instructed Banaghan to make an extension his first option.

"At the moment I’m doing some work at fullback more so than the halves so it is up to me to make that my position my own. It is up for the taking," Brimson said.

"I am working with [Gordon] fairly closely. My main goal is to be fullback in round one."

As for his next deal, Brimson is in no hurry but made his priority clear.

"My manager is working on it at the moment. I am having regular chats with him but he knows that I have got family here and my main intention is to stay on the Coast," Brimson said.

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"I think we will come to the right decision. Gold Coast is home for me and that is the main priority at the moment."

Titans captain Ryan James said the club wanted Brimson to be a player who started and finished his career on the Gold Coast.

James believes fullback is Brimson’s best position and said the time he'd spent in the halves, where he worked on his passing skills, would only enhance his potency at the back.

"There are fullbacks like Darius Boyd that made a career out of throwing that short ball/long ball … and that ball out the back that nine times out of 10 hits the winger on the chest for a try," James told NRL.com.

"Combine those ball skills AJ learned in the halves, which he is still working on, with his explosive speed and he can add even more to that role because opponents are afraid of his running game.

"He is the quickest at our club over 20 and 40 metres and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the quickest in the entire NRL. You just don’t want someone at his pace coming at you who also has ball skills so if he can put it all together it will be the perfect mixture and definitely be his position."

James said Brimson had the perfect opportunity to fast-track his development with Gordon on staff.

"The fullback has to talk the players into the game and pretty much play the key role with the halves to keep the defensive line tight," James said.

"The best fullbacks in the world like Tedesco are excellent at those things and always in the right spot at the right time. AJ is a great young fullback but he has a lot to learn, and he knows that and is working on it every day.

AJ Brimson and Titans teammate Kea Pere encouraged Schoolies revellers to make the right choices with DrinkWise.
AJ Brimson and Titans teammate Kea Pere encouraged Schoolies revellers to make the right choices with DrinkWise. ©titans.com.au

"That is why it is great to have Flash [Gordon] on board to show him all those little things. Flash played more than 250 games and is a pretty good person to learn off."

On Wednesday Brimson was part of a Titans promotion with DrinkWise and Red Frogs, an organisation that helps young people make good life choices, at Schoolies at Surfers Paradise where he handed out water and spoke to school leavers about responsible drinking and making the occasion one to remember for the right reasons.

"You can drink and have fun but don’t do it irresponsibly, and look after your mates," Brimson said.