“I love playing rugby league and I know I’m not done”
That tells you all you need to know about why Ryan Hoffman will be wearing purple in 2018.
One of Storm’s favourite sons has returned to the Club for the third time in his 14-year career.
He has spent the last three seasons over in New Zealand with the Warriors.
Once his contract came to an end after this season, Hoffman knew he was not ready to hang up the boots. The 33-year-old still has that competitive fire and in his mind there was only one place he wanted to keep that fire burning.
“I knew I had at least one more year of footy left in me, I knew I wasn’t ready to retire,” Hoffman said.
“I wanted to go somewhere that would give me the best chance of winning another comp, that is what we are in this competition for.
“I’ve been lucky enough to achieve everything I’ve wanted to do in rugby league. I am playing now for the absolute love of it. I’ve won my Grand Finals, played rep footy, the milestones games and all of that, I am playing purely because I love it.
“To finish off by playing the game I love at the Club I love was an opportunity that was simply too good to refuse.”
It is that love for Melbourne Storm that has seen Hoffman fit perfectly back into with his surroundings at AAMI Park.
This place and indeed this city is where the beloved second rower spent much of his time growing up, as a player and a person.
The sentimental feeling is not lost on the 305-game veteran.
“I’ve always loved this Club and will always love this Club,” Hoffman said.
“It is a special thing wearing purple, it is quite a unique colour so to be part of that purple pride is something that I’ve always held dear to my heart.
“Melbourne is home, Melbourne is the longest I’ve ever lived in one city. It is a great city, it is really something you have to live in to realise.
“Me and my family enjoyed our time in New Zealand but Melbourne is home and that is what it really feels like.”