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The iSelect Gold Coast Titans have granted centre Jamal Idris an immediate release from the final three years of his contract with the club on compassionate grounds, allowing him to return to Sydney to join the Penrith Panthers.
The Titans have agreed to release Idris effective immediately after the 23-year-old expressed his desire to return to Sydney to be closer to his family.
The move has opened up an opportunity for talented Panthers speedster Brad Tighe to join the Titans on a two-year contract for seasons 2014-15.
Tighe, 29, has played 157 NRL matches for both the Panthers and Newcastle since making his debut for the Knights in 2005.
Idris said he was thankful for the understanding of the Titans due to personal reasons.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here at the Titans and I’m grateful that the club has favourably considered my request for a release,’’ said Idris.
“For personal reasons, I have decided it would be best to be closer to my family as my mum has been ill for the past year and it’s been difficult living interstate.
“I wish the club all the best and am looking forward to the opportunity with the Panthers.’’
iSelect Titans Chief Executive Officer Graham Annesley said while it was unfortunate to be fare welling Idris after just two seasons with the club, it was about putting people’s live first.
“We are dealing with people’s lives and at times, we have to put the best interests of people first,’’ said Annesley.
“Jamal has a really close relationship with his family and we respect his desire to spend more time with them in Sydney.
“Jamal has been great on and off the field during his time at the Titans and while we’re disappointed to see him go we fully understand and appreciate his personal circumstances.
“We now look forward to the arrival of Brad Tighe, who is a well-credentialed centre with plenty of NRL experience.’’
iSelect Titans Coach John Cartwright said Idris had endured a tough run with injuries during his time at the club but had shown Titans fans how good he can be at his best.
“Jamal showed everyone last season exactly what he is capable of, it was just unfortunate that injury struck right when he was playing some of his best football,’’ said Cartwright.
“It’s unfortunate that he is moving on but it’s the best outcome for both Jamal and his family and we respect that.’’
Cartwright said Titans fans would have vivid memories of new recruit Tighe, who has played some of his best football against the club in recent years.
“Brad is a real speedster who I’m sure many fans will remember from late in the 2012 season when he scored three tries against us,’’ said Cartwright.
“It’ll be exciting to see him in Titans colours next season.’’