Title the goal for underrated Storm
We want a premiership.
That is the directive from the Melbourne Storm hierarchy as the club held its 2015 season launch at Crown Casino on Friday.
After bowing out in week one of the finals last year, after failing to finish inside the top four for just the second time since 2000, Craig Bellamy and his troops had a long summer to lick their wounds.
Speaking at the launch in front of players, coaches and supporters, CEO Mark Evans left no doubt as to where expectations lie for the upcoming season.
"Our aim this year is what it always is: we want to win the premiership," Evans said.
"That is what we are about as an organisation… we are about adding to our premiership tally.
"We don't start any season here at the Melbourne Storm with anything other than that at the front of mind."
The boss went on to make note of the fact that several media outlets have tipped the Victorian side to miss the finals altogether in 2015.
The perennial finals contender last tasted a premiership three years ago.
Cameron Smith has been a significant mainstay throughout the club's sustained period of success that saw them make five grand final appearances in seven years between 2006 and 2012.
Although it has now been back-to-back seasons without a finals win for Melbourne, their skipper is adamant the signs are that's about to change.
"Just the feeling around the place is a lot different to what it has been in the last 18 months," Smith said.
"It is a feeling that I felt through those years where we had a lot of success with grand finals and premierships… it is a very united group at the moment.
"We were seen as the benchmark for a fairly long time, I believe for six or seven years, but we've lost that title to a couple of other clubs and we want that back pretty desperately."
While that dangerous p-word was rolling off the tongue of the Storm CEO it did not sit quite so comfortably with the coach. Bellamy, now entering his 12th season in charge, is well aware of the work that lays ahead of his side.
"Mark over there is spruiking premierships but at the end of the day what's important for us is this week and getting ready for the St George [Illawarra] game," Bellamy said.
"The grand final is in September, there is a whole heap of time before then and you've got to do a whole heap of things right, you need a bit of luck to get there.
"Hopefully Mark is right but we are not going to be spruiking that yet."
The Storm will get their first chance to showcase any premiership credentials when their season kicks off against the Dragons at Jubilee Oval on March 9.