Kaufusi leans into 'old man' Dolphins tag

Geelong's tongue-in-cheek AFL mad Monday celebrations struck a chord with Felise Kaufusi, who hopes his mature Dolphins forward pack prove the same point in the club's NRL debut.

The Melbourne recruit, 31 in May, was the first man signed by the new Redcliffe-based club that will debut this season.

He'll spearhead a forward pack that also includes veterans Jesse Bromwich (33), brother Kenny (31), Jarrod Wallace (31) and Mark Nicholls (33).

Ray Stone (25) and Tom Gilbert (22) offer some youth under coach Wayne Bennett but Kaufusi is leaning into the "too old, too slow" criticism that's floated north as the squad was built.

"I'm trying to play on it a bit more myself; come in a bit more grumbly at training," he joked on Monday.

"You've got Tommy Gilbert who's young and hungry and we balance that out with experience and our old legs, so to say.

"That's exactly why we joined the club at this stage of our careers, hopefully to influence the younger boys coming through."

Geelong were criticised for persisting with an ageing squad but powered to the AFL premiership last year. Two days later their players cheekily arrived for their Mad Monday celebrations dressed as residents of a retirement home.

"All I can picture is the Geelong team that won the flag last year," Kaufusi said when asked if he was aware of the criticism surrounding his side.

"When they came out at Mad Monday, it was bloody awesome.

"They (the critics) can say all they want, it just comes down the weekend and playing to the standard I need to."

Brisbane recruit Tesi Niu was welcomed to the fold on Monday, with the Tongan representative set to battle Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow for the No.1 jersey.

Kaufusi is the unlikely owner of that number in another mode. His kit bag is emblazoned with it in recognition of his status as the club's initial recruit.

"Really special," father-of-three Kaufusi said.

"It's awesome, you look around (at a nearly-complete squad) and go, 'Crap, this is our team'.

"We're building nicely and if feels good."