: NRL Rugby League - Round 1. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles V Melbourne Storm at Brookvale Oval Saturday the 8th of March 2014 . Digital Image by Robb Cox nrlphotos.com

Hoffman to depart at season's end

Melbourne Storm will farewell one of its favourite sons at the end of the year, with Ryan Hoffman agreeing to a three-year deal with New Zealand Warriors from 2015.

Hoffman made the decision yesterday and spent the afternoon and evening personally telling teammates and family, something that was important to him to do. He reiterated his full commitment to the Club for the remainder of the season, aiming to end his 11-year career at Storm with Premiership success.

Storm v Manly, the rivalry continues this weekend at AAMI Park on Saturday from 7:30pm. Book your tickets here.

Hoffman said it was hard to leave the Club he has called home for over a decade.

“It was a very tough decision to leave the Melbourne Storm, it’s been my home for a very long time,” Hoffman said.

“It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, however the opportunity for my family and I was too good to refuse.

“I’ve had so much great support from members and fans since my first game here and I’m sure it will be the same for my last. I’m looking forward to finishing off a great season with Storm.”

Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said the Club was extremely disappointed to lose Hoffman.

“Ryan has contributed so much to the success of the Club on and off-field during his 11 seasons at Storm. We are disappointed to lose him and there’s no doubt he will be sorely missed by players, staff and fans, however he will leave on very good terms,” Ponissi said.

“We will miss the positive attributes Ryan brings to our club, his professionalism and dedication, which has helped make him a very successful rugby league player.

“We know the passion and commitment Ryan plays with and know he will be looking to finish the season off with his teammates in the best possible fashion.

“Ryan is a Melbourne Storm premiership player and life member and, along with his wife Melissa and family, will always be welcome at the Club when it comes time to say goodbye,” Ponissi said.

Hoffman made his first grade and Storm debut in 2003 and has played 229 games in the purple jersey including the grand final winning sides of 2007 and 2009. After a 12 month stint playing in the Super League with Wigan Warriors, Hoffman returned to Storm in 2012 and was part of the Club’s premiership that season.