William Botoulas, Melbourne Correspondent, NRL.com
For a man who appears to have purple running through his veins it will be bizarre to see Ryan Hoffman ply his trade across the ditch next season.
But that is precisely what the veteran second-rower will do when he departs Melbourne after 11 seasons to join the Warriors.
The curtain is quickly falling on his Storm career, with just 10 games plus some finals – if he had his wish – left for the 30-year-old in Melbourne.
That is something that is not lost on Hoffman who is keen to make his final months at the club memorable for all the right reasons.
“You’re used to not knowing how long it is going to last for, I do know now,” said Hoffman.
“I know I’ve only got the rest of this year in the purple before I go onto another challenge.
“I’m never going to be apart of this group again so I want to do something special with this group.”
When Hoffman makes his move at season’s end he will be leaving behind two mates he has played almost his entire career alongside.
Billy Slater and Cameron Smith are 11-year teammates who have become lifelong friends, even if Hoffman finds himself trying to steamroll them three times a year.
The best of friends turned Origin foes have gone toe-to-toe in the past five games for their respective states with Hoffman finally taking the chocolates last week as New South Wales recorded a drought-breaking series win.
But in a true testament to the trio’s mateship there was nothing but goodwill exchanged when the 80 minutes was up.
“They said straight after the game that they are really happy for me and proud because they know how much it means to me just as I know how much Origin means to them,” said Hoffman.
“We are good mates and there are three periods every year where we are enemies and as soon as that final whistle goes we are back to being really good friends.”
So with 11 weeks left in the home-and-away season Hoffman believes the side has the potential to extend his stay in Victoria just a couple weeks longer than that.
“We’ve got all the confidence in the world in our ability. We know what we can do as a team,” said Hoffman.
“Yeh we’ve had injuries, yeh we’ve had suspensions but that happens… it's up to the blokes who fill those jerseys to do a job.
“I feel like we’ve taken some steps in the past two week but now that is the standard we need to live up to every week and carry on from that.”
The Storm will look to record their third straight win when they travel to face the Dragons at WIN Stadium next Monday night.