Storm to open new Queensland NRL academy
Melbourne will beef up their Queensland presence by establishing a new NRL academy hub on the Sunshine Coast.
Looking to fend off the recruiting threat posed by competition newcomers the Dolphins, the Storm hope to lure talented young footballers to Victoria via the region.
The Storm see the Sunshine Coast as their home away from home after spending almost two seasons based there during COVID-19.
The academy hub forms part of an extended three-year feeder club partnership between Storm and the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
"Our partnership with the Falcons has been a huge success for both clubs," Storm General Manager Football Frank Ponissi said in a statement.
"We have seen players such as Nicho Hynes and Tui Kamikamica recruited directly from the Falcons and a number of players like Harry Grant, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Justin Olam and Jahrome Hughes who have carved out their careers with the Falcons before finding their feet in the NRL.
"Giving local talent access to the Storm system is not only great for the region but will further strengthen our existing academy programs."
Melbourne also announced a new feeder club partnership this week with North Sydney Bears.