My good friend The Mole is reporting that Craig Bellamy will reject a massive offer from the St George/Illawarra Dragons and re-sign a long term deal with the Melbourne Storm that is likely to see him finish his career with the club.
In a chance to quote The Mole, he tweeted:
This is great news for Craig Bellamy, the Melbourne Storm and Rugby League in general in my opinion.
Bellamy has done an incredible job producing talent and building a team that is the envy of every other Rugby League club in Melbourne. He has forged a club culture some clubs would kill for. Even after the salary cap scandal ripped apart the club, Bellamy stuck solid, rebuilt the team and they went on to win last years Grand Final over the Bulldogs.
To walk away from all of that would have been difficult. The Dragons offer was said to be worth well over $1 million per season. Bellamy turning that type of money down probably shows where his motivation lies.
No doubt his Storm contract will be heavily upgraded, and the Storm will remain one of the best clubs in the game as a result. It is expect this will help News Limited sell the club and no doubt the Storms continued success is a good thing for Rugby League as it looks to continue its growth in Victoria.
There had been talk that had Bellamy left that Cameron Smith could have taken over as a Player/Coach. Personally I think idea was complete madness.
When Cameron Smith’s playing career comes to an end there is little doubt in my mind that he will be considered the best hooker in the history of Rugby League.
As a hooker Smith is easily the best in the world, with daylight second. His range of skills is so impressive that if he made the switch to halfback I have no doubt he would be one of the top halfbacks in the game as well. When you throw in his work rate, his leadership at all levels and the fact that he wins at every single level, he is a remarkable player and he is just hitting his prime.
Set aside the issues it would have created in regards to the NRL salary cap rules, if you look at the birth of the morden day Rugby League coach, it was very quickly followed by the death of the Player/Coach. Why? Because a modern day Rugby League has a heavy work load and needs to put 100% of his time and effort coaching, loading, signing, releasing, scouting and generally running the team.
Even if Smith has help from assistant coaches, he just couldn’t have done both roles effectively. On top of that, what if he wasn’t any good at one or the other? You couldn’t sack him as the coach and expect him to stay on as a player. As a player, he wouldn’t sack himself!
Just a stupid, stupid idea…
Thankfully it won’t get another mention and Bellamy will stay on.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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