Bellamy and Smith to swap clubs in 2013?
Coach Craig Bellamy. AAP Image/Dean Lewins
High profile coaches Craig Bellamy and Brian Smith are both in need of a change of clubs. Depending on the results of the remaining five rounds it may happen as early as 2013.
Bellamy, along with Wayne Bennett, is regarded as one of the top two rugby league coaches. Many experts predict he will retire as the game’s best ever coach.
He was lured to the Melbourne Storm by John Ribot (who also signed Wayne Bennett to the Broncos) and his winning strike rate since 2008 is an astonishing 68%.
He has achieved this by not purchasing any high profile players. Bellamy prefers to develop his own list and rejuvenate players many considered “past it”.
He is the chief reason why rugby league is on the map in Melbourne and why fullback Billy Slater enjoys an AFL type profile.
The feeling is that he has done it all down south and is looking for a new challenge. Although he is contracted to the Storm until the end of next season, he may request an exit if the right job comes up for him in his home state of NSW.
Bellamy was born is the mining town of Portland in the Central Tablelands, named after Australia’s first cement works, only two hours’ drive from Sydney.
It will be difficult for Brian Smith to fulfil his contact to the end of next year if the Roosters complete the season poorly. They have a difficult draw including an away game against the Raiders, before taking on high profile teams Wests Tigers and the Bulldogs.
A trifecta of losses in the remaining rounds would likely see Smith get a tap on the shoulder.
The Roosters, who played in the grand final only two years ago, have only won seven of their 20 games this year and have conceded over 500 points at an average of 25 points per game.
It has been a rollercoaster ride for Smith and his Roosters but there is no doubt that the wheel has turned. Nothing short of a string of wins and a change of attitude from his players is likely to save him.
If Smith was to leave the Roosters, it would fast track negotiations for Bellamy to move to Moore Park 12 months early. It would be a perfect fit with so many young talented kids on the list and the promise of one of the world’s great athletes, Sonny Bill Williams, set to run out on the SFS next season.
Ironically, Brian Smith could find himself as the Blues mentor next year, although he would be in demand in the U.K. and maybe even at the Raiders, or as a clean swap to the Storm.
The Roosters have shown in the past that they can be creative and generally get their man, but to move Craig Bellamy from Melbourne to Sydney would be a massive coup and would require deep pockets.
Bellamy’s salary alone would be $1m, but he also has a huge support staff that he would want to take with him. Like Bellamy, they are part of a very attractive superannuation plan that News put in place for the Storm.
Current coach Brian Smith would have to be paid out, so all up the cost could be between $2m to $3m.
The Roosters are currently challenging for the wooden spoon and struggle to attract a crowd of over 10,000 fans to a game.
Bellamy and Sonny Bill Williams are both cast iron winners and would almost guarantee success. With success comes the fans and the sponsors.
$3m could be cheap.
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