The Storm can win without Bellamy

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Craig Bellamy wears a Gatorade shower following the NRL Grand Final between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012.(AAP Image/Ben Zonner)

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Okay, let’s make this easier…there will never again be a full-time captain-coach in the NRL. Cameron Smith will have to wait until retirement to coach the Storm.

Which means, if Craig Bellamy does go to St George-Illawarra in 2014 (and the latest signs are that he won’t), Melbourne will need a new non-playing coach.

Some reports have the Storm players “desperate” for Bellamy not to leave, due to a perceived need to maintain the club’s culture.

They clearly have forgotten the reality of sports, and for that matter any walk of life.

Greatness is not static. It does not reside in one place forever. Champions soar to their peak and then decay. Melbourne will be no different.

This doesn’t mean that, in the advent of a Bellamy departure, the Melbourne Storm should not be caring about winning, or maintaining a positive, professional approach to its football.

It goes without saying that every club seeks to hire the best coach possible when the position is vacant.

But Melbourne, once its core is gone, will never be the same. Yes, the club may very well win many titles in the future, but its ‘culture’, by virtue of its changing personnel, will be different.

And that’s as nature intended. Coaches of the quality of Craig Bellamy are constantly looking for new strategies, approaches, perspectives and Bellamy’s bosses should be no different.

The worst thing the Storm could do in the next few years is to panic, trying to hold on to a formula even as the people responsible for creating it begin to retire or leave.

Craig Bellamy is clearly a tremendous coach. But Melbourne can win without him, as long as its players and administrators don’t obsess over retaining his culture.

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