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Storm to target “experience and leadership” on player market


Melbourne Storm football boss Frank Ponissi has revealed what the club will look to achieve on the player market.

With the pending departures of experienced quartet Kenny Bromwich, Jesse Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Brandon Smith set for the end of the season, Ponissi says the club will look to replace them with somewhat like for like players.

As money has been freed up from those departures, Ponissi sees the club pursuing older “journeymen” type players that can offer both leadership and football smarts as they look to promote youth internally.

While he admitted the club wasn’t pleased with the number of departures, he does believe they’ll be able to replenish the squad on the marketplace.

“We’ve got a really good squad for 2022, but we’ve got a challenge for 2023,” Ponissi said on Sportsday.

“We’ve lost experience and also leadership, that’s probably a thing (we’ll target).

“It allows us to get in the marketplace and look at some of our younger players, push them through.

“It is what it is, we’re not wrapped, but we can’t do anything about it.”

Ponissi says the Storm will probably look at “one or two players” from rival clubs while filling the rest of the squad gaps with youth from their existing pathways.

“One thing we’ve always done is keep our young players,” he added.

“That’s one thing we’ve always done, keeping the young players in our system, that’s paramount.

“They’re the future, but we’ll pick up some players from other clubs and people might refer to them as journeymen.

“There will be one or two players we target, I think experience and leadership is an area that we will target.

“We’ll look at that, as long as they fit the system.”

Come the end of 2022, the Storm will have lost Josh Addo-Carr, Nicho Hynes, Dale Finucane, the Bromwich brothers, Brandon Smith and Felise Kaufusi to rival clubs within two years.

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