Melbourne Storm to base youth on Sunshine Coast

RUGBY LEAGUE: A Kawana-based National Youth Competition team could be playing in 2016 under the banner of the Melbourne Storm, which is shaking the pan of the Coast's junior ranks in search of rugby league gold.

With master coach Craig Bellamy arriving at Sunshine Coast Falcons headquarters today, Storm Queensland director of coaching Matt Adamson has confirmed the NRL club's intention to base its NYC (under-20) side on the Coast from 2016.

Each year the NYC produces the NRL's next batch of superstars. Its list of player-of-the-year winners includes NRL stars Ben Hunt, Tariq Sims, David Klemmer and Bryce Cartwright.

Melbourne took another step towards its NYC relocation last weekend when they held a series of trials to identify 10 players who would form part of the 2015 Melbourne Storm development squad ahead of the under-20s switch in 2016.

The trials were attended by Storm recruitment manager Paul Bunn, who Adamson said was impressed by the raw talent of Coast juniors who had the potential to be shaped into the next generation of NRL superstars.

"Out of those 16s and 18s that trialled on the weekend, there was an abundance of great young talent that was quite raw and what we are looking to work with," Adamson said.

"Basing the NYC here gives us an opening to a lot of young talented footballers that haven't had a pathway, and that is what the Melbourne Storm is trying to offer these kids.

"They can be close to their parents without feeling the pressures and burdens to take that next step in their career by being part of an (interstate) NYC program."

The move would likely see Coast juniors make up a significant chunk of the NYC team playing in curtain-raisers to the Storm's NRL side.

"The big tick of having the Storm NYC (team) based here, if it gets ticked off on, is that the kids will fly down to Sydney and Melbourne and everywhere else and play before the Melbourne first-grade team," Adamson said.

"It is a great opportunity for these kids to potentially play at a place like Brookvale Oval and be in the same dressing room as Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.

"We are 99% of the way there to making it happen and getting it signed off on by the NRL."

Bellamy will front media today at Sunshine Coast Stadium before taking Falcons players through their paces at a training session.

He will also be taken through a video session by Adamson of the weekend's trials.

"This was Craig's idea (to come up) so he can see that his systems from the Storm have been implemented here," Adamson said.

"Craig is really excited and it is an extra incentive for the players that their feeder club head coach is going to be here watching them."

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