By ISAAC LIRI
JUSTIN Olam is set to join Craig Bellamy’s Melbourne Storm next month after a successful debut year with the SP-sponsored Papua New Guinea Hunters.
The 22-year old made his debut with the PNG Kumuls in May’s Pacific Test against Fiji and capped off his first season in the Intrust Super Cup claiming the Hunters top tryscorer’s award with 14 four-pointers as well as the rookie of the year.
Olam in a brief interview with The National this week said he would miss the Hunters after building some strong bonds with the players and staff.
“Obviously I will miss everyone and I am so grateful to coach Michael Marum and everyone who has supported me,” Olam said.
The Sinasina native is on an eight-week break along with the rest of the Hunters with Marum that the squad needed to be with their families and friends before pre-season training starts in December.
Olam said it was a successful year for them despite falling short in the finals.
The Hunters were beaten 18-12 by the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the first week of the finals – and ironically Olam could turn out in Falcons colours next season with the Sunshine Coast club a feeder club to the Storm.
Olam said the Hunters were capabale of winning a Q-Cup title and would only need a little luck to get that far.
While Olam’s departure is a big loss for the Hunters, Marum said there were many players with the same potential as Olam in the Digicel Cup and all thyey needed was to grab the opportunity when it presented itself.
Meanwhile, Olam said he was relishing the opportunity to train with some of the greats of the game in particular Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk – the trio of league legends that have been the main reason for the Storm’s success over the years.
Olam best advice to players hoping to make the Hunters and go beyond was to “always believe in yourself, have a good attitude to training and make the sacrifices”.
By ISAAC LIRI