Legend’s son in line for shock Storm starting
Cooper Johns is in the frame to start the year in Melbourne's No.7 jersey after impressing during the NRL pre-season.
The son of former Newcastle star turned TV host Matthew Johns and nephew of legendary halfback Andrew Johns, the 20-year-old has won a fan in Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr.
The Test flyer was quick to name Johns as a standout from Melbourne's two-week training camp in Geelong last month.
"Cooper Johns has been here for the last few seasons but he's really grown as a player," Addo-Carr said.
"He's a really silky, smart player and if he fills out a bit more, which he's really trying to do, I have no doubt he will be in the first grade squad."
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After impressing with the Storm's Queensland Cup feeder team, Sunshine Coast Falcons Johns was promoted to Melbourne's senior squad last June but is still waiting to make his NRL debut.
Addo-Carr also revealed he has no interest in shortcuts, determined to get the most out of his last season in purple.
And while he wants to get future plans sorted "sooner rather than later", the 24 year-old has vowed not to let distractions get in the way of the premiership pursuit.
Storm brass agreed to release the contracted winger early, at the end of the 2020 season, subject to strict conditions, which include a transfer fee, a like-for-like player swap and potentially salary cap relief.
"I'm not too focused on where I play next year," Addo-Carr said.
"It's all up in the air at the moment and I'm fully committed to the Storm.
"I like to compete and don't want to let my teammates down.
"I don't want them to think I'm better than them or anything, I just want to win a premiership."
Addo-Carr has no plans to spend any extra time in Sydney, be it to see family or meet with rival clubs potentially, just in case it was to impact the job at hand.
"I don't want to let my teammates down by spending too much time up in Sydney," Addo-Carr said.
"I want to give myself the best chance to perform for my team and spend as much time down here to prepare for games, if I stay up in Sydney too long I might get a bit lazy."
A rejuvenated Addo-Carr is excited about the 2020 campaign, having enjoyed a clean bill of health throughout the pre-season.
"Last year's pre-season I missed the whole pre-season just because of injury and I was pretty much in rehab," Addo-Carr said.
"I had a pretty good year last year, but being out on the field (this) pre-season I have no doubt, if I work hard enough (I know I can) perform the way I want to, and perform the way I want for the team."
Storm has spent the past two weeks working on combinations on the left and right edges, following the departures of premiership centres Will Chambers (Japan) and Curtis Scott (Canberra).
Justin Olam is expected to partner Addo-Carr on the left side, with Marion Seve in the box seat to snare the right centre vacancy.
The uncertainty around the top squad has not altered Addo-Carr's focus in the slightest.
"I just try and do my job the best I can," he said.
"The best thing I can do is talk to my teammates when they're tired because I'm not making too many tackles.
"I want to come out a winner every year and to do it for Storm and my teammates, would top it off.
"It would definitely be good to get another premiership, definitely." - with AAP