Addo-Carr to take Melbourne by Storm
It's devastating to lose a player of the caliber of Marika Koroibete for some teams, but the Melbourne Storm are the masters of discovering hidden gems – and Josh Addo-Carr might be the next big thing.
Deflecting to rugby union, Koroibete is just the latest in a prolific list of the Storm's past revelations including Israel Folau, Matt King, Greg Inglis, Will Chambers, Sisa Waqa and Justin O'Neill that were unearthed by the club to explode onto the NRL stage while at Melbourne.
Last year's grand finalists are banking on new-arrival Addo-Carr to light up the track in the same way as those before him and head coach Craig Bellamy is putting him through his paces in a grueling preseason.
Reflecting on the master coach's notorious preseason camps leaves Addo-Carr cringing.
"Here [at the Storm] it's….hard to explain," Addo-Carr told NRL.com. "It's so hard but it's good in a way. Doing the army camp you learn so much and heaps about yourself and about the boys you do it with.
"It's the longest eight to nine weeks of my life, just getting flogged every day. But it's been good and I can't wait to start playing football – it's what I love and can't wait to start ripping around with the boys."
While he may have been lost for words, Addo-Carr doesn't struggle to find his way to the try line as the try-scoring machine piled on 19 tries in just 15 games for Wests Tigers in the Intrust Super Premiership last season. He also carried his form onto the big stage, scoring six tries in his nine NRL appearances.
The Storm swooped to sign the electric winger on a three-year deal, hoping he fills the void Koroibete leaves in becoming the next big thing in 2017.
"As soon as he (Koroibete) came down here he was killing it and I want to do what he was doing," Addo-Carr said. "It was a good decision to come here.
"It was tough, especially because I’m moving away from family and friends but I had to think of myself, my family and my future.
"I came down here for opportunity, I want to be the best player I can be and I think this is the club where I can do that."
While it's been a tough transition to the Victorian capital for the 21-year-old, Addo-Carr is just as quickly finding his feet on and off the field, even exploring some of Melbourne's cultural cuisine.
"I’ve got my girlfriend down here and most of the boys are from outside of Melbourne so we are all in the same boat and all get along," Addo-Carr said.
"Just [discovering] the alleyways where you have your Greek and your Italian food and all that stuff."
Addo-Carr has shown glimpses of tapping into the potential the Storm recognised, and was thoroughly impressive during last weekend's Downer NRL Auckland Nines tournament. He scored the game-sealing try to propel Melbourne into an unexpected semi-final finish.
With plenty of competition for spots, Addo-Carr is motivated to further impress with another strong showing against the New Zealand Warriors on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday night in the Storm's first trial game.
For Addo-Carr – who is within fingertips of claiming a valuable purple jumper – his destiny comes down to the one thing he learnt during those punishing preseason boot camps at Melbourne.
"Knowing it's mind over matter", Addo-Carr said. "You can push yourself as far as you want as long as your mind is set."