Storm moves forward

STRATHFIELDSAYE Storm president Glen Cowling says there's far more to the club's build-up to the 2014 Bendigo Football League season than just the signing of Stephen Milne.

The recruitment of former St Kilda 275-game forward Milne has been the most controversial talking point surrounding the Storm during the off-season.

The Storm has been criticised since the signing of Milne, who has a pending rape trial next November, but Cowling says the club has no regrets.

"I can understand people having an opinion on the signing, and we respect that, but we feel it's the right thing for our club and Bendigo football with the experience and football knowledge Stephen can pass on to our younger players," Cowling said.

"We're excited about him coming, but there's more to Strathfieldsaye than just signing Stephen Milne. 

"We've signed Matt Johnston as an assistant coach, Sean Johns, who is a former captain of the Murray Bushrangers, has joined, North Ballarat's Bryce Curnow is still aligned with us and there may be some more high-profile announcements, so things are going along well.

"We've got a very tight-knit group and I think everything that has happened with the Stephen Milne signing has galvanised the group.

"The reason he is here isn't about us trying to buy a premiership, it's because he is (coach) Darryl Wilson's family friend.

"He has previously been involved with the club in doing clinics for the kids, he's been to our finals and presentation nights.

"We had several meetings to discuss it following the negative press and we believe we're doing the right thing. We haven't had any sponsors drop off, no players have left because of his signing and I feel most of the Strathfieldsaye community supports it.

"We've all made mistakes on and off the field, but Stephen has every right to play football because these charges have not been proven, and that's how we're looking at it. We're moving forward."

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