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12 hours ago
Titans chief executive Michael Searle has offered support for struggling Parramatta halfback Tim Smith as he battles with bipolar disorder with his family on the Gold Coast.
Smith sought indefinite leave from the Eels last week so he could reunite with his family on the Gold Coast to help manage his mental illness.
The 23-year-old has given no indication of if or when he will return to Sydney to resume his NRL career.
There has been speculation Parramatta would release Smith from the final two years of his contract as early as this week so they could put forward an offer to retain off-contract halfback Brett Finch.
Searle was spotted with Smith at the weekend but told AAP he had simply offered the troubled young star support and assistance while he was in town.
"I went up to him when I saw him there and I gave him my number," said Searle.
"That way he has my number in his phone if ever he needs to have anyone to support or help him while he is up here.
"He can call us any time ... if he gets caught in any situation.
"It was more to provide him with some support, that is something I think the whole football community can do to look after him."
The Titans are sympathetic to Smith's situation given their commitment to help rehabilitate wayward winger Chris Walker when he confronted similar demons last season.
Searle is proud of the club's work helping Walker and says the most important thing for Smith now is to focus solely on his health and not football.
It is this reason why Searle did not even discuss football with Smith on the weekend.
The Titans have made no secret of their desire to recruit Gold Coast juniors to the club but Searle said he'd had absolutely no discussion with Smith over the prospect of joining the ladder leaders in the future.
"I'm more concerned with Tim's personal wellbeing right now," said Searle.