Melbourne has cemented itself into the heart of Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
A love for the Club and the city he now calls home were the two reasons why one of the game’s brightest young forwards decided to remain in Melbourne.
Last week Storm announced it had re-signed Asofa-Solomona until the end of the 2019 season.
NAS arrived in Melbourne as a 17-year-old, full of potential and raw as can be. He now stands as a two metres, 115kg man with 43 NRL games under his belt.
“I am really happy to be staying at Storm,” Asofa-Solomona said.
“Rugby league and especially the Storm have shown a lot of loyalty in me and I just wanted to repay that.
“For myself I love the Club and what it is all about, we’ve got a great bunch of boys here that make you feel like you are right at home.
“My parents will be moving here soon so that will be a big part in making Melbourne feel like home for myself.
“I have been here for four years now and I feel like Melbourne has been a big part of my life.”
Asofa-Solomona has stepped up when his side has needed him this season, missing just the one game starting four of them in the second row.
He has averaged five minutes more playing time this season and hopes his exposure to longer minutes only grows.
“It does give me a lot of confidence that maybe Craig sees me in that role maybe in the long term,” Asofa-Solomona said.
“Obviously I’ve played off the bench for the time that I have been in first grade… I am really happy to take that opportunity if it comes again.
He credits his rapid development to his close relationship with Storm assistant and forwards coach Jason Ryles.
“Jason Ryles has been a massive part of my footy career and outside my footy career for the last couple of years,” Asofa-Solomona said.
“He has helped developing myself on the little things that are really important.
“Before I go onto the field he really pulls me aside and reminds me of my roles and just to do that to the best of my ability for the boys.”