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The away trip that just kept going

When the playing group, coaches and a small number of club staff boarded a plane bound for the Sunshine Coast on May 14, they expected to be flying home two weeks later.

They packed only the essentials for a fortnight away on a mid-season camp (at Twin Waters resort, so let's call it a glamp) which would include three games on the road against the Dragons, Raiders and Broncos.

Almost five weeks later, the squad is still on the Coast.

No need to dwell on why exactly that is - the rest of us back here in Melbourne are intensely aware - so instead, here's some insight from a few players about the longest away trip ever.

While a few extra weeks of sunshine and avoiding lockdown sounds extremely appealing, Justin Olam is among a number of guys who is genuinely missing home.

"The weather is good up here of course but Melbourne is home, and I'm missing home," he said.

"It feels like you can't escape footy here - you're around everyone all the time.

"That's a good thing sometimes, I enjoy spending time with the boys and whenever we can we try to go for a feed or go to the beach to take our mind off things."

Tom Eisenhuth has a few reliable methods for switching off in an environment that could easily feel like it's all footy, all the time. 

"Sometimes it does get hard to switch off and not be in footy mode," he said.

"I do some reading or watch some TV and even play a few board games with the boys to unwind and take my mind off it.

"I'm really enjoying being so close to the beach at the moment and going for a swim most days.

"My ideal day off would look like an early morning swim and a cafe visit for a coffee and feed, heading out and seeing some of the Sunshine Coast before relaxing in the afternoon, reading or gaming.

I'm really missing the coffee, food and walks in the park down in Melbourne.

Tom Eisenhuth On what he misses about home

Like most of the playing group, Juzzy has no family with him on the coast.

"All the families and parents are doing it hard, but it is what it is. We have to try to adapt and overcome."

Reimis Smith hasn't seen his partner since he left Melbourne five weeks ago.

While she's now in quarantine en route to Twin Waters, a few players are in the same boat and have had to navigate long distance relationships for the last month.

"My partner is in Sydney (in quarantine) right now with a few other partners and families so they can join us here," he said.

"We are hopeful that we will be back in Melbourne soon, but it will be really good for a few of us to have our partners here for the last stretch.

"I haven't seen her for almost five weeks so it's been a bit tough, but we have been positive about the situation and just overcoming each hurdle as it arrives."

It does feel like we're living at work sometimes, but we're a close bunch here. It makes it so much easier that we all get on together.

Reimis Smith On life at Twin Waters

Reimis is making the most of his time on the Sunny Coast, a luxury players were not afforded during last year's stay at Twin Waters.

This time around there is more freedom for players to explore and give back to the community that adopted our club in 2020.

"It's pretty much sunny everyday here and the resort is unreal, I've been loving it," he said.

"I miss my place in Melbourne and my own things like my bed, but I also miss the cafes, our training facilities and stuff like that - my normal routine.

"My typical day off is pretty laid back. I love going out to a cafe to get a good feed and a coffee, relaxing for a bit.

"Since we've been here, depending on how I'm feeling, I'll go out to an attraction like the zoo or sometimes I'll just chill out in my room.

"I like to get out to the beach and have a swim and just enjoy the days."


Acknowledgement of Country

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.