Falcons journey filled with purple pride
It is a game that has been three years in the making.
This Sunday the Sunshine Coast Falcons will run onto Suncorp Stadium in the Intrust Super Cup Grand Final.
It will be a proud moment, not only for the Sunshine Coast region but the entire Storm family.
Midway through the 2014 season Melbourne Storm made the decision to form a feeder partnership with the Falcons, who at the time had been languishing at the bottom of the Queensland Cup.
From that point on the Falcons began their rebuild from scratch. The 2015 season was used as a building block, implementing a level of professionalism and the structures required to succeed.
From there the rewards, and the wins, started to come as they reached a Preliminary Final berth last year.
Now they will play in a Grand Final, a moment that will be the culmination of years of hard work.
The injection of Storm players has helped the on-field success however that has been just a small part in helping to put Sunshine Coast back on the rugby league map.
The turnaround of this Club both on and off the field can be credited to several individuals.
“Enormous credit has be given to Ashley Robinson (Falcons president) because he was the one, single person who drove the relationship between the two Clubs,” Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said.
“Their other key appointment was Craig Ingebrigtsen as coach for the 2016 season. He is an outstanding coach and a terrific man manager.
“The third guy who deserves recognition is their CEO Chris Flannery, a former premiership player with the Roosters and a State of Origin Player. As a CEO he has got a great temperament and has been a great support for Craig.
“Those three especially have done a phenominal job as leaders of the Club.”
Storm players may wear purple during the week but when they make the trip north to pull on the Falcons jersey they do so with pride.
That has only strengthened the partnership between the two Clubs and is something that is not lost on the Sunshine Coast locals.
“The thing that I like is the way the Storm blokes buy in to who they are playing for,” Falcons president Ashley Robinson said.
“To see the excitement of Joe Stimson and Ryley Jacks when they scored those tries last week and to see how excited they were, that gives me a buzz.
“It is great to see them grow as a group. The Storm boys come up here later each week but they are all tight as a group, they love being together, it is exciting.”
The Falcons will take on the PNG Hunters in the Intrust Super Cup Grand Final this Sunday.
Storm fans can watch the game by clicking here for the live stream.