Justin Holbrook hopes to coach the Titans into their most successful era after re-signing until 2024, but he doesn't expect to have Cameron Smith to help execute his vision.
The rookie NRL mentor, who was already contracted next year, acknowledged the board's faith in handing him an extension despite the improving team being in 13th place with four wins.
He said the chance to exact the best from the squad he's helped shape - including signing David Fifita, Tino Faasuamaleaui and Herman Ese'ese from 2021 - was an attractive long-term prospect.
But at this stage it seems unlikely that Storm champion Smith will enjoy a career swan song at the Titans, with Holbrook saying he is interested but hasn't had any discussions with the hooker.
"To know who's coming to the club and currently working with these guys that are already here is really exciting," Holbrook said on Wednesday.
"The future's looking good here at the Titans … From when I was in England [at St Helens], I had a couple of really lengthy conversations with Mal Meninga [head of performance and culture].
I've never spoken to Cameron and I said all along, in all honesty I couldn't see him leaving MelbourneJustin Holbrook
"He assured me that we've got everything in place and since I've been here for 10 months it's been absolutely correct.
"The owners are committed to the club being successful and then the right people are in place for the CEO and the chairman and the board."
Holbrook said he wasn't sure why Smith had been referred to as "heavily linked" with the Gold Coast team.
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"You’d love to have a player like Cameron Smith come to your club. He's the best player in the game," Holbrook said.
"I think that's all we've said as a club all along. I've never spoken to Cameron and I said all along, in all honesty I couldn't see him leaving Melbourne. It's hard to know without speaking to him."
Recruitment is "nearly an everyday process", said Holbrook, but the coach didn't outline any more potential acquisitions.
"There's nothing that's locked in or close to being locked in, but there's always things to be looked at," he said.
While he didn't declare the Titans finals contenders next year, Holbrook believes the additions of Fifita, Faasuamaleaui and Ese'ese "are definitely going to improve us a lot."
Holbrook's extension came at the same time Anthony Seibold was preparing to exit the Broncos after a tumultuous two-season reign.
"I've felt sorry for Seibs, not just now but for a while now. Obviously it's not gone as well as he or the club would've liked up in Brisbane," Holbrook said.
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"You never like to see anyone else lose their job. Awkward timing but we can't help that from our end."
As for whether he must meet performance goals to ensure he sees out the entirety of his deal unlike Seibold, Holbrook said: "There are always going to be things in place for a contract but I'm really comfortable with it.
"I guess the good news for me is I've already been here. I'm not new to the club."