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The Storm can win without Bellamy

MG Burbank Roar Guru

By MG Burbank, MG Burbank is a Roar Guru

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    Craig Bellamy takes a Gatorade shower after the Storm's 2012 grand final win. (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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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • January 17th 2013 @ 7:48am
      oikee said | January 17th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Agree, Bellamy needs to move away and become a nomad type figure, walk the country in likie a wispery ghost and just have people looking in awe at him and thinking, was that bellamy.?
      Wayne Bennett is what Belllamy will become, people wont care if they win or lose, they will just know they are in and around the presence of greatness. You will just know they will do great things, like Bennett has done with Tahu and Big Willie.

      You accept that they must move on, as Wayne did from the Broncos, but you know it was the right thing to do.

    • January 17th 2013 @ 9:20am
      jimmy said | January 17th 2013 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      The culture of Melbourne Storm is not just about a winning one, but one of the harder you work, the more successful you are. Player after player who didn’t get a look in at other NRLclubs have come to Storm & are now earning big bucks elsewhere. Storm has adopted many of the AFL’s successful formulas for culture. i dare anyone to go to Broncos & have a losing mentality or one of not achieving to be the best & trying to taek short cuts or going outside of the professional attitude of what works for Broncos & see how long before you are shown the door. I agree every club needs to indentify new methods, but the foundation for the Storm’s mojo was not created just because of the Big three & a super coach, but since the birth of Melbourne Storm in the AFL heartland.
      Storm is a bigger part of the Melbourne sporting landscape, then the so called NSW league experts gives it respect. The culture was created by Matt Geyer, Glen Laraus, Scott Hill, Breet Kimmorley & Robbie Kearns which propelled Melb Storm into winning a NRL premiership in only it’s 2nd year in the NRL in 1999 with again many players not other clubs wanted at that time. So maybe the journo who wrote this dribble would be a bit better advised by doing some research before making comment we should change our culture for the sake of as new coach. Melbourne storm will survive post Slater, Smith, Cronk & dare we say it Bellmany. But why not try to keep this coach on board as he has shown he can consistently produce talent.
      I for one would thank Bellmany for sticking around when Storm where on it’s knees & if he goes no one would deny him the chance to financially secure his family & his own future, even though all of NSW hoped it would spell the end of the Storm, jus tliek they under estimated that same culture that had the fans keep coming to support a club who played for nothing for a whole year after the horrific salary breaches by those whom brought shame upon a club that had earned respect in the AFL heartland.
      That bond has now grown & anyone who thinks Bellmany is not a super coach, should ask why AFL clubs seek console with him about their clubs culture & the secret to keep turning players over & getting the best out of each player. at Storm we don’t expect to win the Premiership every year, but we expect the players to perform to a standard expected.
      This journo Guru says once our three go, it’s good bye, yeah right. Ask hawthorn who have won 9 flags since 1971 based on the John kennedy commando work elthic that brought pride & winning culture to a club that was the easy beats of the AFL for nearly 50 years & for decade after decade prior to it’s 1961 cup. were considered hopeless. Or Carlton who have many flas post the Barassi winning year of 1968 or the legacy the first players set for future Brisbane Bronco players to uphold today. Storm players come & go, but to say you need to change your culture because you have new players is like every person who works MacDonlads no longer ask would you like fries with that meal deal or people on construction sites not obiging by safety regulations because there are too many adhere to.
      Look at what is happening at Canterbury Builldogs prior to Hasler, West Tigers now, & why Penrith went after Ivan Cleary if culture is not important. Without the right culture at a club then players will under achieve & a club will go a long time before seeing success. Just ask St.kilda, Footscray – Western Bulldogs or Richomnd who haven’t won a flag in 30 years what they would give for a cultutre that breeds success.

    • January 17th 2013 @ 9:24am
      bbt said | January 17th 2013 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      Bellamy is more than a coach in AFL mad Melbourne. He is one of the main salesmen for Rugby League. The possible fall out from Bellamy leaving may well be the diminishing coverage that RL gets in this town. I doubt a new coach could, or could be expected to fill that role.

      • January 17th 2013 @ 9:53am
        jimmy said | January 17th 2013 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        To a large extrend I agree, but also the culture that Storm have adopted has even every sporting code in victoria looking at Storm from the coach to players who even appear on other shows & especially AFL’s footy channel shows. So bbt a very good point, actually excellent point, so whilst it would be a shame to lose him, it would be even better to keep him, which is why i hope we do. It seems we may & he has a chance to create much more in Melbourne, so why this relentless crusade hat he has to leave Melbourne to prove himself, he did that when within 2 years of being left for dead he lifted Storm to glory with the help of the players.

    • January 17th 2013 @ 10:01am
      oikee said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      There are only a few people in this country that have a aura about them, a godlike presense that commands respect, those people in league that i know about include Bennett, Bellamy, Meninga and probably Slater and Gallen one day.
      What Bellamy did at the Storm was create true believers out of a small bunch of diehard supporters. Bennett did the same thing at the Broncos.

    • Roar Rookie

      January 17th 2013 @ 10:04am
      John Vizzone said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

      With all due respect to the writer, I think you underestimate the importance and power of a culture.

      When a club finds a winning culture, it has the ability to maintain that culture for some time. Decisions on personnel will effect the culture, but they generally will be successful for as long as they can maintain it.

    • Roar Guru

      January 17th 2013 @ 11:28am
      Richard said | January 17th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

      Culture, if its nurtured , respected and valued can be the backbone of a club or any organisation. Just look at the strength of the culture at Manchester United, built up during the era of the great Matt Busby, or the culture of Liverpool established under the great Bill Shankly, or my own club, Collingwood, firmly set in place by the legendary Jock McHale. Melbourne Storm is a new club and is laying the foundation of its culture now. It could well rival the aforementioned, with a huge dollop of credit to Craig Bellamy if it does.

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