AJ Brimson has identified kicking in general play as a weakness in his game and credits former Eel Luke Burt for helping him get up to scratch.
Burt, a goalkicking sharpshooter and outstanding kicker in general play in his 264 games for he Eels, and fellow Gold Coast assistant coach Craig Hodges, have been working overtime with the versatile 20-year-old as he targets becoming a more complete player in his second season in the Telstra Premiership.
"Kicking is something you have to be consistent at in the halves or at fullback but my kicking still isn’t near good enough. I need to practise a lot more," Brimson told NRL.com.
"Craig Hodges and Luke Burt are our main skills coaches and both of them have been helpful in that regard.
"Burty is still really handy with the boot. We kick with each other now and he has still got such a straight kick on him. He’s always giving me practical tips on how to improve.
"Hodgo is more about the biomechanical side of it and keeping your shoulders square. I’ve heard from Ryley Jacks about some of the training Cooper Cronk used to do in Melbourne where he would continually focus on keeping his body square so I'm working on that."
Burt has been impressed with Brimson's progress.
"Kicking is a weakness that we recognised late last year that he needed to work on and to his credit he has worked on it outstandingly and is getting better at it," Burt told NRL.com.
"AJ has got a nice little touch around the tryline but still needs a bit of fine-tuning.
"The longer distance kicking is something we are working on - just with his ball drop, where he makes contact with it and his choice of kick."
Titans captain Ryan James has also noted the improvements in Brimson's kicking.
"He came back to our first training session after shoulder surgery and was training at fullback and a bit of half, and just randomly chucked in two kicks and scored two tries in an opposed session," James told NRL.com.
"It is pretty handy to have someone who can see it, do it and pull it off.
"It reminded me of Princey [Scott Prince] and Presto [Preston Campbell] back in the day when they were so good at that off-the-cuff stuff. Princey would barely look, kick it back on the inside and Presto would score."
Brimson has targeted the trial against the Broncos on March 2 as his comeback match from shoulder surgery but the Titans won't rush him.
"I don’t have favourites but I love AJ," Burt said. "He’s a ripper of a kid and has that work ethic of being one of the last there at training working with us.
"AJ wasn’t even in our top 30 at the start of last pre-season and wasn’t in line for a first-grade jersey until he got an opportunity through injury, so what he did last year was all on the back of natural ability.
"We’d love for him to get a run before round one but we aren’t going to push a kid like that. We want him on the field for the entire season."