Smith backs youngsters to step up
Every player at Storm will look to improve on the field in 2016 but it is the steps being taken off the field by younger players that has most impressed skipper Cameron Smith.
In a side blessed with representative talent it is only natural that the mid-point of the season brings with it some challenges at Melbourne.
However heading into this year the Club has looked to the likes of Ben Hampton and Kenny Bromwich to take that next step and so far over summer they have answered the call.
“They are guys who have played a few games of first grade now but they just need to take more accountability of their performances and make sure the consistency is there,” Smith said.
“At times we struggled last year when we had a few of our senior players away from our team and it hurt our form going into the back end of the year.
“I’ve been impressed by our young guys, we’ve asked them to step up and take a bit more ownership of the team as well this pre-season and they’ve done that.”
It has been a big pre-season in Storm’s leadership department with significant steps being made to develop the Club’s next generation of leaders.
On Tuesday Storm announced their five-man leadership group for the upcoming season, with Blake Green and Jesse Bromwich joining long-standing members Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk and Smith.
The promotion of Bromwich and Green is one that gives just rewards to their emergence in recent years.
“Absolutely, Jesse has been coming along in big steps each year he has been playing in the first grade team,” Smith said.
“He’s been our player of the year for the last two seasons so he is certainly producing on the field but we feel it is time for him to step up into a leadership role and he is doing a great job with all of our young guys around the place.”
“Blake Green came to our club as a leader but being in his second season now he has had more involvement with decision-making with the team and the way we play our footy so it was the right time for him to step up as well.”
It is now just over a week until Storm kicks off its 2016 season against the Dragons at AAMI Park on March 7.