Grant T from Facebook: Seems we lose 5 or 6 first grade players every year - are we signing anymore players for next season ? Or promoting within ?
Mark Evans: Losing a number of first grade players each year is inevitable when you work within the salary cap. It becomes even more inevitable as more and more players come up through our development pathway and break through into first grade and we wish to keep them and pay them accordingly. We may sign one more player for next season, but only if the right player becomes available at a salary we can fit within the cap.
Michelle Eden from Facebook: How is billy slaters knee after the world cup will he be ready to start 2014?
Mark Evans: Weve just released some more information on Billys knee this afternoon. He will undergo a diagnostic arthroscope on his left knee on Thursday.
Storm Head Physiotherapist Tony Ayoub said the procedure was minor and a precautionary approach following Slaters World Cup campaign.
Its a minor procedure to clean up his knee. We wanted to be proactive considering he has 6 weeks off before he starts pre-season in mid January, Ayoub said.
The recovery period for this procedure is only 4-6 weeks so this is an ideal time to have it done and it wont affect his preparation for the 2014 season.
Ash Bailey from Instagram: Will Ben Hampton be getting more of a run this year or is Cody Walker playing in the halves?
Mark Evans: Youll have to ask Craig-he picks the team.
ShalDelaney from Instagram: Do we have a plan in place for when our big names start leaving?
Mark Evans: Yes we do, although we know that simply looking to replace the Big 3 with like for like replacements is impossible and we would be foolish to try that approach. We will need to change the composition of our list but we need to do it gradually over time and hopefully not for a couple of years yet.
Tim from Twitter: Are there going to be any new sponsors in 2014? e.g. Jayco?
Mark Evans: Tiger Air has already signed a significant new deal and I expect we will announce one or two other major deals in the next few weeks. Just as importantly Programmed. Suzuki, Host Plus, BLK and Crown remain major commercial partners at the club with four of them agreeing new deals this Autumn.
Steve from Twitter: What excites you the most about the clubs future both on and off the field?
Mark Evans: I think there is a huge amount of upside, building upon the last 15 years which has been spent establishing the Storm within the Melbourne sporting landscape. Sports clubs take decades to establish and I think the next 5 years will be absolutely crucial in getting a commercially viable club in place whilst still achieving great things on the pitch. If I wasnt excited about that I would not be here.