EYE ON THE FUTURE: Grafton Ghosts junior Jake Martin has been signed to a two-year development deal with the Gold Coast Titans national rugby league club.
EYE ON THE FUTURE: Grafton Ghosts junior Jake Martin has been signed to a two-year development deal with the Gold Coast Titans national rugby league club. Matthew Elkerton

Martin's future laid out on and off field

RUGBY LEAGUE: Jake Martin has one eye firmly set on becoming a rugby league star, but another on setting up his future.

It is why the Grafton Ghosts prodigy is the perfect fit for the Gold Coast Titans.

The NRL club made moves to sign the 17-year-old backline utility earlier this week to a two-year development deal.

Martin is expected to arrive on the Gold Coast for pre-season early next month, with an opportunity to cement himself a starting role in the Tweed Seagulls Mal Meninga Cup side.

"If I can get a chance to show what I have got for the Seagulls, there's a chance I could also step up to Colts (under 20) through the year,” he said.

"It is just about making sure I make the most of the opportunity.”

Martin will likely line up in the centres, but having played every position in the backline for the Ghosts, he says he will fill whatever role is needed.

But it is not only on the field where the Titans are making his dreams a reality. As part of his deal with the club, the Titans have offered to help find Martin an apprenticeship in a trade.

Right now he is lending a hand to the team at Wants Handrails, but Martin said he hadn't ruled out a career as a carpenter or electrician.

"(The club) really tries to set you up not only for life on the field,” he said. "It means everything to be among that system, for them to show faith in me.”

Martin has been part of the Titans academy season since he was 15, and said he had learned more from the club than he had in a lifetime.

Martin will join fellow Ghosts teammate Ben Liyou, who was signed to a similar deal last year, with the pair expected to live together on the Gold Coast.

But it is a seachange that will be felt a little bit more by those around him.

"It is going to be a big challenge, I have barely been out of the state for a holiday,” he said.

"I dropped out of school earlier this year to try and get used to that work life.

"But I think Mum is going to struggle more than me. At least she will have a nice holiday house for when she visits ... every week.”



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