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Letter received by the club:



Dear Members

We know the last two years have been difficult. Victorians have done it tougher than most of our family and friends around the country through the COVID-19 pandemic - whether in business, sport or home-schooling your kids while juggling work and family commitments.

We also know Melbourne Storm members have missed out on a lot during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. You’ve missed watching your team at our home, AAMI Park, along with the purple army. You’ve missed two finals series at home, our club family days, open training sessions, and our major events.

But even though you have only had the opportunity to see five matches live over the last two years, you have stuck by us. In fact, the purple army has grown to reach record membership numbers in the face of COVID.

You have not only shown your commitment by buying a membership each year, but you have engaged with the club and our players in record numbers across our social and digital media channels, and more than 20 million people have watched us play on TV each week.

Our players read your messages of support each week and our coaches draw upon the passion of the Big V as they prepare for their next game. Our staff have also been doing all they can to keep you connected and give you the insights into what makes us all proud to be a part of the Storm Family.

We couldn’t be the Club we are today without your support – it simply has been overwhelming.

That’s why next year, we are pleased to announce your membership is on us – your club, Melbourne Storm.

In recognition of the commitment and support you have given us over these last two years, we wanted to give something back to you.

All 2020 and 2021 members who live in Victoria and who had match access as part of the membership, will get their 2022 membership free.

On behalf of the Melbourne Storm board, executive, staff, and players, this is our way of saying, thanks – this one’s on us.

You will receive an email from us within the next 10 days which will help you redeem your free membership or give those who might still want to contribute to the club in another way the chance to do so. If you have any questions, check out our FAQ section on the website or give our membership team a call.

We are extremely grateful to every one of our 28,320 members across Australia. You all help to give our Club the best chance of success every season.

We hope you stick by us as we head into another preliminary final this weekend and hope to see you as part of the purple army again in 2022 and beyond.

Go Storm!

Matt Tripp Justin Rodski
Chairman CEO
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nacho
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Wow, I am blown away. I have been critical of the value for money we have had over the last decade but I'm very proud to be a member once again
Scooter
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That is amazing. Wish some of the other clubs I am a member of would do anything like this.
Storm_M_36
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Source: Herald Sun- Nick Smart

NRL Finals 2021: Melbourne Storm gifts free memberships for 2022

Melbourne Storm fans have only seen their team five times in two years because of Covid. But the purple army will be rewarded for their loyalty with a stunning deal in 2022.


Melbourne Storm has put pressure on its AFL rivals by giving up millions of dollars to provide almost 23,000 of its Victorian members with a free membership for 2022.

The NRL powerhouse — which is just two wins away from clinching back-to-back titles — will lead the way by becoming the first Victorian club to reward its supporters with complimentary memberships for next year.

No Victorian AFL club has yet announced a similar arrangement for its football-starved members.

Storm fans in Victoria have been able to watch their team play at AAMI Park only five times in two years due to Covid.

The club will provide eligible 2020 and 2021 Victorian-based members with a free membership “in recognition of their loyalty and support over the last two seasons.”


“We’ve been thinking of ways to recognise our members and provide them with something to give back for all their support,” Storm chief executive Justin Rodski told the Herald Sun.

“We wanted to make sure it was something significant and meaningful that was going to have an impact on our members and genuinely show them what they mean to us.

“In the end we decided this was the best way to do that.”


The financial cost of Storm’s generous gesture next year is understood to be in the millions, although Rodski said the club was looking at the long term benefits.

“It’s a significant number, but it’s something we look at as an investment into our future and an opportunity to really grow our membership base in the coming years,” he said.
Cameron Munster and Melbourne Storm will reward their fans with free membership in 2022.
Cameron Munster and Melbourne Storm will reward their fans with free membership in 2022.

“While there are some challenging financial components to the initiative, we think all of that far outweighs any financial hits we’ll take next year.”

Eligible Storm members will be sent an email this week which will allow them to login to their account and redeem their free membership.

Storm will play Penrith on Saturday at 4pm for a spot in next Sunday’s NRL grand final, and Rodski said the club could not wait to welcome fans back to AAMI Park in 2022.

“We’re really confident for next year when you look at the road map now,” he said.

“Hopefully for Round 1 at AAMI Park next year we’ll be at full capacity, and hopefully this initiative will create a great level of buzz and excitement for our members”
Melbourne Storm team news: Fox is back

– Travis Meyn and Peter Badel

Origin star Josh Addo-Carr will return from injury for Melbourne as the Storm get ready to name a full-strength team for the first time this season.

Addo-Carr has overcome a hamstring strain and will start on the wing in Saturday afternoon’s preliminary final blockbuster against Penrith at Suncorp Stadium.

His return from a three-week lay-off will ensure the Storm have a full complement of players to choose from for the first time this year.
Josh Addo-Carr is back to face the Panthers.
Josh Addo-Carr is back to face the Panthers.

In a remarkable turn of events, the Storm are at 100 per cent fitness for the grand final qualifier against the Panthers.

Addo-Carr’s inclusion for Isaac Lumelume is expected to be the only change to Melbourne’s 17 for the 2020 grand final rematch.

Meanwhile, the Panthers have a number of injury concerns with Viliame Kikau, Brian To’o and Mitch Kenny all battling ankle complaints.

The Panthers are also coming off a tough elimination final win against Parramatta and now have to face a fresh Melbourne team in Brisbane.

STORM V PANTHERS

Saturday 25 September, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 4:00pm

Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. George Jennings, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Christian Welch, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane

Bench: 14. Harry Grant, 15. Tui Kamikamica, 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17. Nicho Hynes

Reserves: 18. Aaron Pene, 19. Tom Eisenhuth, 20. Chris Lewis, 21. Isaac Lumelume

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Stephen Crichton, 3. Paul Momirovski, 4. Matt Burton, 5. Brent Naden, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Moses Leota, 9. Api Koroisau, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Viliame Kikau, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Isaah Yeo

Bench: 14. Tyrone May, 15. Scott Sorensen, 16. Tevita Pangai Junior, 17. Liam Martin

Reserves: 18. Izack Tago, 19. Spencer Leniu, 20. J’Maine Hopgood, 21. Brian To’o
The Panthers star Storm fear more than Cleary

Melbourne dynamo Brandon Smith says “concrete head” Brian To’o is the Panther they fear in Saturday night’s preliminary final as he declared the Storm have developed a Roosters-style hatred for Penrith.

The Storm are hellbent on driving the Panthers into the cement for the second consecutive season with matchwinning Melbourne winger Josh Addo-Carr confident of returning from a hamstring injury for the sudden-death showdown at Suncorp Stadium.

The Panthers have injury concerns of their own, with Addo-Carr’s NSW Origin wing cohort To’o racing the clock to prove his fitness after missing Penrith’s 8-6 disposal of Parramatta on Saturday night with an ankle injury.
Brandon Smith is a huge fan of Brian To'o.
Brandon Smith is a huge fan of Brian To'o.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary is also sweating on scan results for Viliame Kikau and Mitch Kenny, who both suffered ankle setbacks in the Eels finals slugfest.

The Panthers remain hopeful To’o will get the green light and Storm hooker Smith concedes the prospect of the Penrith metre-eater returning could spell trouble for the reigning NRL premiers.

“I’m scared of Brian To’o,” Smith said.

“He is so strong. His head is like concrete, it honestly is.

“He runs at you 30 times a game and he can move laterally. I wish I could move like him.

“I have tackled him (To’o) in the head accidentally and my shoulder was sore.

“His head is deadset concrete. He just cops so many hits and I always wonder how he just gets up.

“To’o isn’t a guy who talks smack on the field, he just plays football and does his job. He is very respectful, so he is one guy we have to watch this week.”
Brandon Smith and the Storm are ready to end Penrith’s title shot again.
Brandon Smith and the Storm are ready to end Penrith’s title shot again.

Smith admits the Storm have a grudging respect for the Panthers after beating them 26-20 in last year’s grand final.

“We hate them because they are so good,” he said.

“You have to respect good clubs, especially Penrith.

“They are similar to the Roosters, we hate them but you have to love the way they carry themselves on the rugby league field, and Penrith is much the same.

“Penrith have been the benchmark team for the last two years.

“It’s always Craig (Bellamy, Storm coach’s) goal to be the best defensive team in the comp and Penrith have taken that away from us.

“It does hurt because we put a lot of effort in our training and we would love to win the battle against them.”

To’o has been a kick-returning cyclone for the Panthers this season, amassing 118 tackle busts and a staggering 4706 running metres at an average of 247m per game.
Storm are determined to deny Panthers a title for the second year in a row.
Storm are determined to deny Panthers a title for the second year in a row.

They are numbers not seen since Cowboys hulk Jason Taumalolo inspired North Queensland’s fairytale grand-final charge without Johnathan Thurston in 2017 and the Storm are wary of To’o’s importance to Penrith’s yardage out of their own half.

“His emergence has been crazy the last few years,” Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen said of To’o.

“He will come in fresh and cause a ruckus coming off his goal line.

“We will do a lot of video on him and just be alert, Penrith have a lot of good players so we can’t just narrow it down to one guy.”

Addo-Carr suffered the hamstring strain in Melbourne’s 22-10 loss to Parramatta in Round 24 and hasn’t played since.

With 23 tries in 21 games this season, his return out wide will be a major boost for the Storm against Penrith.

“It’s sweet as, bra,” Addo-Carr said when asked how his hamstring was tracking.

“I’ve been doing everything I can to get back and it’s been good so far.
Josh Addo-Carr is confident of returning for the big match.
Josh Addo-Carr is confident of returning for the big match.

“You’ve got to start (running) at 60-70 per cent. It’s been three weeks now. I’ve got up to 90-95 per cent.

“The physio reckons it’s in a good place.

“I’ve done the exact same injury in 2017 or 18. It felt the same. I felt a little sharp pain in my hamstring and didn’t think too much of it.”
‘Everyone’s death-riding us’: Why Storm love playing the villain

Queensland Origin whiz Cameron Munster believes the NRL fraternity is sick of Melbourne winning premierships and will be “death-riding” the Storm in Saturday night’s grand-final qualifier against the Panthers.

And Munster has turned up the heat on the Panthers ahead of the sudden-death showdown at Suncorp Stadium, claiming the Storm have been the best team this year and “deserve” to win their third title in five seasons.

Melbourne’s famed siege mentality is in overdrive with Munster revealing the Storm’s motivation to win back-to-back titles is fuelled by external jealousy over their incessant success as the best NRL club of the past two decades.
Cameron Munster says the haters are motivating the Storm.
Cameron Munster says the haters are motivating the Storm.

Should the Storm put Penrith to the sword this week, they would qualify for their ninth grand final in 15 years.

Underlining Melbourne’s brilliance, Craig Bellamy’s troops are chasing the club’s fifth decider in six seasons – and their first back-to-back premierships since the Storm’s inception in 1998.

The Storm have attracted their share of critics over their wrestling antics and the infamous 2010 salary-cap scandal and Maroons ace Munster believes thousands of rugby league fans would love to see Penrith send Melbourne crashing out of the 2021 title race.

“I know everyone is death-riding us to lose this week,” Munster said.

“We’ve been so successful for so long and there will be a lot of punters and fans from different clubs who would love for us to lose to Penrith and get knocked out.

“The number of people who want us to win the comp is probably one in a thousand.
Munster is confident the Storm can go back-to-back.
Munster is confident the Storm can go back-to-back.

“There’s critics out there who would want us to lose because of the premierships we have won and all the success we’ve had with the Big Three (Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk).

“There is no doubt in my mind a lot of people in the game will be death-riding us, but that is motivation to send Josh Addo-Carr, Dale Finucane and Nicho (Hynes) out as winners with a premiership.”

Ivan Cleary’s Panthers are under pressure to clinch a breakthrough premiership alive after their shock loss to Souths in the opening week of the finals was followed by a grinding 8-6 defeat of the Eels on Saturday night in Mackay.

There is a feeling Penrith have gone off the boil at the worst time and Munster is primed to drive another nail in their premiership coffin – just as Melbourne did in last year’s grand final.

“It would be nice to get to the grand final again,” he said.

“No disrespect to anyone, but we have been the best team all year and we deserve to be in the grand final.
Munster says Storm have been the best team all year and deserve to be in the grand final.
Munster says Storm have been the best team all year and deserve to be in the grand final.

“But no-one will give us anything. We have to work hard this week against Penrith because their best footy and our best footy isn’t too far apart.

“We won last year, but I know the hunger is still there to do it again.

“Everyone said it would be a Penrith-Storm grand final this year, but that’s not going to be the case and we want to be the team still standing.

“One of us won’t be there next week and I’m confident we can get the job done.”

Munster’s Storm teammate Ryan Papenhuyzen said a driving force for Melbourne was their shock 22-10 loss to the Eels in round 24.

It broke a record-equalling 19-match winning streak and Papenhuyzen likened the Parramatta upset to a death in the family.
Ryan Papenhuyzen said the loss to the Eels was ‘like a death in the family’.
Ryan Papenhuyzen said the loss to the Eels was ‘like a death in the family’.

“We experienced our pain in the loss to Parra to be honest, it was nearly like someone passed away in that week after the game,” he said.

“Every time we have a loss, everyone takes it personally and I like that about the club.

“That loss put us in good stead. We addressed things that we didn’t address in the 19-game winning streak and it was just a freshen-up to clear up our roles and how we want to play as a team.

“We saw the Roosters go back-to-back (in 2018-19), so it’s not impossible.

“If we win two more games, hopefully that’s good enough to get another premiership.”
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Jesus, what a mess of a post! :-s

Thanks for sharing, but feel free to edit before posting or splitting each article into individual posts - that was painful to sift through!
Bullucked
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When I got the email last night I was about to automatically delete it, but then I read it, honestly cannot believe and are very happy.
Now, what if they don't play any games here again...
Mattpoet
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An awesome gesture by the club
RobbieRoss
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An extraordinary and very positive step by the Club . Brilliant.
Bartos
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Bullucked wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:10 am When I got the email last night I was about to automatically delete it, but then I read it, honestly cannot believe and are very happy.
Now, what if they don't play any games here again...
Exactly my thoughts, great in theory until we hit winter time and the gov rolls out short sharp lockdown number 9
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nacho
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I'm definitely signing up my newborn as a member next year, I was on the fence but now he can literally be a member for life
Mattpoet
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I did that with my daughter nearly two years ago. Her first piece of mail was her Storm membership.
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sallymay
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I’m still speechless
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