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As the first-grade squad fine-tune their preparations for the fast-approaching 2016 season so too are the Club's emerging U20 players.

In their first year based on the Sunshine Coast the NYC squad have made the most of their new surroundings, much to the delight of new coach Eric Smith.

"We’ve just been at a camp up in Coolum over the weekend which the team got a lot out of,” Smith said.

"The focus of the weekend was on mental strength with a lot of team building exercises."

Smith, who spent last season as an assistant with the team before taking over as coach this season, said he has been impressed with the way to group has applied themselves.

The standout players over summer include Scott Drinkwater, Brodie Croft, Lachlan Timm and Jacob Tonge.

"Training is going really well, we’ve got a great facility up here at Sunshine Coast Stadium," Smith said.

“The Sunshine Coast has been really good and we’ve had plenty of support from the local community.”

The region is home to the newly launched Storm Academy, which the Club is developing into a centre for junior recruitment and development.

A cornerstone of the program is to provide aspiring young footballers in the region with a clear pathway into the U20s, the Queensland Cup and ultimately a stepping-stone into the NRL.

This has already been on show with a large contingent of the NYC squad made up of players who have played with the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

Storm will be playing a trial against Wests Tigers at Sunshine Coast Stadium on February 13 with the NYC team playing a three-way curtain raiser game beforehand against the Falcons and Easts Tigers.

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Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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