Storm feeder clubs ‘a bold step’

A plan to partner Melbourne with two feeder clubs has been described as a “historic alliance” by the Storm’s Football Manager Frank Ponissi.

Players not selected for NRL fixtures will be made available to either Queensland Cup side Brisbane Easts or Cronulla’s NSW Cup team.

Said Ponissi: “It’s without doubt an historic alliance. It’s also an exciting one for all clubs involved.

“The end goal of the alliance is to fast-track the development of our non NRL players during times that are as competitive in professional sport as they are cut-throat.

Melbourne’s previous links with Brisbane Norths aided the development of stars Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Dallas Johnson.

“It’s without doubt a tough competition and a successful breeding ground for future NRL stars,” added Ponissi.

“But the Storm is constantly searching for ways to give something back to grassroots rugby league and in Brisbane Easts the club can.”

The link with Cronulla will see the Sharks’ jersey incoporate the Storm’s colours and logo when competing in the competition.

It also revives Melbourne’s involvement in the NSW Cup, which ended in 2009 when the club opted to cut their ties with the Central Coast Storm.

“We look forward to working with both competitions and thank both Brisbane Easts and Cronulla on their professionalism and desire to make this alliance a successful one,” he added.

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