The Melbourne Storm have launched a new development program in Queensland entitled the Sunshine Coast Academy and confirmed the players involved.
Established to provide elite pathways for juniors, the Academy has been launched with the Storm's association with the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Southeast Queensland.
The club confirmed that Toby Poole has been appointed coach of the Academy while Joel Gill has taken the role of the Pathways Performance Coach.
Poole previously worked at the Brisbane Broncos and was the assistant coach at the Sunshine Coast Falcons under-20 side in 2016.
“We've been in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Falcons since 2014 and this is another avenue in which we can increase our footprint in the Sunshine Coast region,” Head of Pathways, Tim Glasby said.
“Typically, the model has seen non-selected NRL listed players drop back into the Q-Cup competition, so we already have a strong relationship with the Club.
“Trent Loiero is a great example of a player who was recruited directly from the Falcons to Storm, as well as Christian Welch from our other Feeder Club Brisbane Easts, so we know just how important these pathways are to provide that direct opportunity to play first grade football.
“We're really excited about this program which enables us to invest in the local talent and hopefully get them to a position where they are ready to play in the NRL.”
Sunshine Coast Academy Players