Bellamy 'worth the wait' for Warriors
Wed, 10 Oct 2012 6:40p.m.
By Sam Ackerman
Ten days ago, Craig Bellamy reinstated the Storm as the undisputable benchmark in the NRL, and he's seen as the man who could change the future of the Warriors.
Former Warriors coach Frank Endacott says his calibre is something they need.
“If the Warriors are lucky enough to sign Craig Bellamy, it would be the biggest signing they've ever made I suggest, either player or coach," he says. "I think that he is needed to turn this club around."
Endacott says Bellamy's not only the best choice, he's the only choice.
“Whatever they pay him, he's going to be worth it, because even though it won't guarantee you success, it will certainly give you the best opportunity of getting that success.”
Five grand finals in 10 years speaks for itself – as does his reputation with his players. Storm fullback Billy Slater says he wouldn’t want anyone else.
“I haven't had any other first grade coach and to be honest I wouldn't like to have any other first grade coach. He's a great man and great man manager – he's like a father figure to a lot of us down there in Melbourne.”
It's that connection with the Storm superstars that is the Warriors’ biggest obstacle – but even they admit a $4 million contract is hard to turn down.
“We'd like him to stay obviously, he's a great coach and a great mate of ours, but [we would] obviously respect his decision,” says Slater.
The catch is that Bellamy's still got a year to run on his Melbourne contract. He wouldn't be available til 2014 – leaving a gaping hole for next year.
If that plays out, the man to fill that interim role might be right under the clubs nose.
“To wait for a guy like Craig Bellamy, one year's not long, and that would give an opportunity for a coach – let's say Tony Iro, the assistant there now,” says Endacott.
Iro's also Steve Kearney's assistant with the Kiwis.
“I've worked with him closely now over the past three or four years and he'd do a wonderful job,” says Kearney.
The scenario's not unheard of – in fact it played out just 12 months ago. Days after taking Manly to the 2011 premiership, Des Hasler signed for the Bulldogs from 2013.
In that case, Manly cut Hasler early and he subsequently took the Bulldogs to this year's grand final.
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