Wessels was in Melbourne on Tuesday to meet with Rebels staff and some players after signing on for the job late last month following the axing of his Western Force.
The Rebels and Storm share training facilities alongside AFL club Melbourne and A-League giants Melbourne Victory, while Collingwood and AFL champions Richmond are just a stone’s throw away.
Wessels said he was “pinching himself” while having a coffee between meetings, with Lleyton Hewitt and Magpies coach Nathan Buckley also in the cafe, describing the hub as a centre for sporting excellence.
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Wessels has already been in contact with Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi, who has been integral to the club’s sustained success over the past decade.
“Frank has been one of the guys who I’ve sought some advice from over the last couple of months,” Wessels said.
“Certainly as an organisation you could do a lot worse than model yourself on the Storm so there’s a lot of things I think we could take out of them and I’m excited to be where we are.”
While much has been made of the Force injection of talent into the Rebels, with Wessels still “very hopeful” Test lock Adam Coleman would be among them, he said he was excited to work with the existing Melbourne players.
Rebels coach Dave Wessels hopes to tap into the success of the Storm.Source:Getty Images
“The reason I chose to go to Melbourne is the players already there — they’ve got some incredible players and you saw in the Wallabies Test match over the weekend guys like (Marika) Koroibete and (Reece) Hodge and how they performed,” he said.
The injury-ravaged Rebels only managed one win last season but Wessels said the talent in the roster, including youngsters such as Jack Maddocks and Jack McGregor, was a sign of better times ahead.
“I wouldn’t be going to Melbourne if I didn’t think we could win but there’s a huge amount of work between coming where we came and where we want to come.
“There’s a number of those young guys who should have aspirations of being part of the World Cup,” he said.