Storm dedicates whole day to meeting fans
THEY might play a different code to the Hawks, Melbourne Demons, Richmond Tigers and Western Bulldogs, but the fifth Melbourne-based professional footy outfit to visit the Coast this summer has hit the ground running today.
Described as its "home away from home”, Melbourne Storm will get out and about on the Sunshine Coast to further cement its stronghold on rugby league in the region.
While the AFL teams were happy to bunker down and grind out hard session after session in relative peace and quiet, Storm will waste no time getting out and about in the community to meet and greet fans.
The side arrived at Sunshine Coast Airport shortly after 10.30am today and was almost immediately split into groups to spread out across the Coast.
The players will visit Caloundra State High School at 12.30pm, before another bunch heads over to Brightwater State College at 2pm.
The big names haven't been spared, with Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Dale Finucane, Vincent Leuluai, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Josh Addo-Carr, Christian Welch, Charlie Galo, Ryley Jacks, Curtis Scott, Jake Turpin, Scott Drinkwater, Brandon Smith and Jahrome Hughes all joining the touring party.
At 5pm the players will be at Alex Surf Club for an autograph signing session and to meet more local fans after the busy work day is done.
And in an exciting play for junior rugby league coaches on the Cosat, more than 40 have been invited to attend an information session at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
There they will learn from some of the best in the business, including Frank Ponissi (Football Director), Craig Bellamy (NRL Head Coach), Adam O'Brien (NRL Senior Assistant Coach), Marc Brentnall (NRL Development Coach), Eric Smith (NYC Head Coach).
Recent apointee to the Queensland country rugby league side (Rangers) and former Falcons coach Glen Dreger said it was great to see the Storm out and about in the community.
"And tonight for Craig to give up his time is incredible. It's a good reward for our development coaches coming through because they give up plenty of time as well.
"(Bellamy) is head and shoulders above anyone else (in coaching) but that's just my opinion.”