joins Storm's ranks

Melbourne Storm has today announced the signing of former Manly centre Ben MacDougall for the 2004 National Rugby League Telstra Premiership season.

MacDougall, who was released by the Sea Eagles at the end of the season this year, will further add to the Storm?s already healthy list of backline players.

After ongoing contractual proceedings with Manly, MacDougall is delighted to have joined the Storm?s ranks and is looking forward to making a fresh start in the NRL.

?I didn?t really want to leave Manly in the first place and it?s a big move but I?ve spoken with (Storm coach) Craig (Bellamy) and I think he can really help me take my game to the next level,? MacDougall said.

The 26-year-old?s intentions for next year are clear and he has started planning for the 2004 season with advice from his older brother Adam, now with the Rabbitohs, ringing in his ears.

?My remember my brother saying to me only a couple of years ago that every player starts at the same point every pre-season regardless of what they?ve done before,? MacDougall added.

?I didn?t come here to play reserve grade, I came here to play first grade and hopefully I can do that next year.?

His move to Melbourne comes just weeks after former Manly head coach Peter Sharp also made his way to the Storm, leading to an unlikely reunion between the two.

?I didn?t know that he (Sharp) was coming down here so it was a bit of a surprise,? MacDougall said.

?I don?t know anyone here in Melbourne so it?s really good to have a familiar face around while I settle in.?

For further information contact:

James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]