Ahead of Melbourne's first Trial match of the 2014 pre-season, Storm flyer Justin O'Neill says the young side set to take the field against Canberra want to play the best football they can on Saturday night.
There will be plenty of new faces blooded for Storm against the Raiders at AAMI Park with eight new first-grade squad members set to take the field in addition to a crop of the club's U20 players. Like the rest of the team, O'Neill is looking forward to playing with everyone looking to stake their claim for a position in the Storm side come Round 1.
"We've had a pretty long, gruelling pre-season as usual," O'Neill told media on Friday morning.
"I think the boys are excited to get out there and play their first trial.
"I know we've got a lot of new guys to the squad, everyone is looking forward to seeing how they go and playing with them.
"Definitely its something we want to give 100 per cent, you want to try your best."
With high temperatures forecast for Saturday, players on both sides will be put to the test in their first hit out of the season. However O'Neill says its something the players can't be focusing on come game time.
"Its going to be a hot game, that's something we can't change," O'Neill said.
"Its going to be a tough game, the boys will have to do those little things that Craig is looking out for, it will be a good test.
"We want the boys to go out there and play the best footy they can. That will only be better for us come Round 1."
With plenty of competition for spots among Melbourne's outside backs, performances during Storm's trial matches will be important for players pushing for selection in Round 1. When quizzed on his preferred position on Storm's edge, O'Neill remained open minded about what role he will play throughout the season.
"I always played in the centres as a junior, I'd love the chance to play a whole season in the centres," O'Neill said.
"I've always said to Craig I'm able to play on the wing as well so if that's better for the team I'm happy to play there."
Speaking on SEN 1116 radio this morning, Melbourne Storm Coach Craig Bellamy confirmed he is hopeful Cameron Smith will decide on his playing future before Round 1.
"Hopefully he will make up his mind before the season comes because I don't think its too good for anyone to be going into the season," Bellamy told SEN radio.
"There is a lot of pressure on him as well. We've got a few more weeks so hopefully we can get it sorted before then.
"It's probably going to come up every time someone from Storm talks to the media."
Listen to Craig Bellamy chat with Andy Maher and Andrew Gaze on SEN 1116's Morning Glory program below.