Melbourne Storm skipper Stephen Kearney is looking forward to a return to night football in an attempt to overcome a desperate Sharks side this Saturday night at Olympic Park (7.30pm).
The Storm holds an impressive 18-7 record under lights at Olympic Park since 1998 and Kearney believes the home side will benefit from a timeslot that has become a rarity in recent years.
�The atmosphere at Olympic Park is a lot better at night, I know the crowd enjoy night football and the players certainly do,� Kearney said.
�We haven�t had too many night games in the past couple of years and I know the lads will be very much looking forward to it.
�Playing under lights has been very successful for us in the past and hopefully we can continue that trend this season.�
Melbourne�s most recent dose of night football dates back to last year when the Storm enjoyed an opening round victory over the Raiders, for the remainder of 2002 the club was locked into 3pm Saturday�s.
This is a far cry from the Storm�s formative years when over half the club�s 40 homes games between 1998 and 2000 where played under lights � 2001 was spent under the roof of Colonial Stadium.
�I know a lot of the players that have been here from the start associate a lot of the club�s history with night football in the early years,� Kearney added. �It was a big part of our initial building process as a club - building the game and the actual event around the Melbourne crowd and their participation in night football � it was a great event.�
According to Kearney the Storm will be looking for any available advantage against the Sharks � a side swarming with desperation after a 0-3 start to the season.
�Everyone is aware of how the Sharks have started this year, certainly they�ll be very disappointed with the way they have started so with that in mind it makes them a very desperate side,� the Kiwi international said.
�A desperate team in this competition is the most dangerous team going around.
�Throw into the mix Chris Anderson and his history with the club, Brett Kimmorley and his history with the club and it makes for a very interesting contest.�
STORM TRAINING TODAY AT 4.30PM, OLYMPIC PARK
For further information contact
James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]