Juro last edited by
Schooling kept Bellamy from Tigers
Stathi Paxinos | October 7, 2009
MELBOURNE Storm coach Craig Bellamy said had fate’s timing been slightly off for the club he has guided to two premierships, he may not have been standing in the middle of yesterday’s celebrations being feted, along with his players, by hundreds of fans.
Bellamy had been courted by Wests Tigers to become its coach in 2003, but turned the offer down because his children were then still at school and did not want to leave Brisbane, where he was an assistant coach at the Broncos.
He said yesterday at a civic reception at Federation Square for the premier, which beat Parramatta 23-16 in last Sunday’s NRL grand final, that he regretted his decision to reject the Tigers almost immediately and jumped at the next chance that came along, that being from the Storm just a few months later, with the intention of ‘‘deciding to what to do with the kids’’ later. His family initially stayed in Brisbane while he moved to Melbourne, but he was later joined by his wife when his son and daughter, who remained up north, finished school.
However, he said had the order of offers been reversed then ‘‘I might have knocked them [the Storm] back [instead], but that’s how it happened’’.
‘‘When I knocked [the Tigers] back I think I did regret for a week or so afterwards,’’ Bellamy said.
''That [the children] was the main reason [for rejecting the Tigers]. I know a lot of people think it wasn’t because I then accepted another job, but I made the decision and regretted it and then thought I may never get another chance here so when it came up again so quickly I decided [to do it].
‘‘I really wanted to have a go at being a head coach and I didn’t know if I would get another chance if I knocked back this one. Two years [later] would have been ideal [timing] for me, but you just can’t pick your times in this caper.’’
Meanwhile, Storm players continued to push the cause for half-back Cooper Cronk to be included in the Australian squad, which is named today for the Four Nations tour.
Storm prop Brett White, who is a chance of making his first Kangaroos team, said Cronk, who played one Test in 2007, was ‘‘our spiritual leader, I can’t speak highly enough of him’’.
Incumbent Test full-back Billy Slater, who with Cameron Smith and Greg Inglis are certainties to be named today, also said the half-back, who could also be used as a utility player, ‘‘wouldn’t be out of place in Australian jersey’’.
‘‘Cooper’s our heart and soul,’’ Slater said. ''He directs us around the paddock and he’s a big reason why we’ve been so successful the last four years.
''He’s very similar to having another captain out on the field. Cameron Smith’s our leader and our skipper, but Cooper’s our boss.
‘‘He’s just such a good organiser, everything basically comes through him. He’s a tremendous athlete … he’s got vision, he’s strong and he’s a very good defender. You can’t say enough about him. He’s a great player.’’
However, chairman of selectors Bob McCarthy said while Cronk ‘‘would be mentioned’’ when they settle on a 24-man squad, he said the final call on contentious decisions would be given to coach Tim Sheens.
It is believed that Sheens is favouring his former Wests Tigers playmaker - and current Gold Coast co-captain - Scott Prince as Johnathan Thurston’s back-up.
Ryan Hoffman and Dallas Johnson are another two Storm players who will be waiting to see if they get a recall to the Australian squad today and their chances, along with White, could be bolstered by the long injury list among the forwards facing the Test selectors.
but i guess after Sheens was in charge for a few years we got our premiership. but hindsight’s a wonderful thing isnt it?
Juro last edited by
There are so many factors involved. Just because he had success with Melbourne, doesn’t mean he could have done the same here. No doubt he is a very good coach but at the time he was largely untested…
True. I dont think we made the wrong decision bringing Sheens in at all. We sort of did a mini-Bulldogs turn around after the Lamb saga, and are now the good guys of the NRL with a premiership in our cabinet. Just think lately his wheels aren’t turning so smoothly. But hey, he’s put some effort into recruitment for 2010 so hopefully our fortunes change from the last 4 seasons.
westTAHger last edited by
he was offered the job and knocked it back, because his family came first.
will never criticise a person for putting family first, as you only have a limited time in footy.
i know this may get some flak, but family is far more important than coaching.
who knows what may have been.
all I know is with Tim Sheens we have won a premiership, and nothing should detract from that alone.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bellamy as the Tigers coach at some time in the future……
Yossarian last edited by
I’m no rumour spreader but I heard from a reliable source that there was more to it than that at the Bellamy end…
Its a long time ago…but I thought Bellamy (who was our second choice )was all set to join us,but was spurned by a player revolt led by none other than the inimitable Terry Hill???
The guy who ended up assistant at NQL was our first choice but couldnt wriggle out of his UK contract,& Sheens was our third choice
Ian Millward was the first choice.