Malcolm Boyle: Warriors have to fight for Bellamy

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Craig Bellamy has proved himself as a winner with the Melbourne Storm. Photo / Getty Images
Craig Bellamy has proved himself as a winner with the Melbourne Storm. Photo / Getty Images

Rome is burning but it seems the well-heeled men at Mt Smart are impervious to the flames licking at their nether regions. The issue of a coach for the Warriors for 2013 and beyond appears to have stumped those who have been a pretty capable management machine over the past four or five years.

If, as my tea leaves tell me, Matthew Elliott and David Kidwell are favourites for the job, the question must be asked why the Auckland club would settle for effectively a change of personnel with Penrith?

Why not the undisputed top coach in the NRL? I'm referring to Craig Bellamy, who looks so far ahead of the others (except perhaps Des Hasler). With Owen Glenn and Eric Watson bringing new-found wealth to the club, why not indeed?

Bellyache Bellamy stands out as the No1 target. Certainly there are road blocks which would have to be overcome but if the will is there, nothing is impossible.

Bellamy's name has been bandied about as a contender but my view is that's not close enough. Every effort and available dollar should be earmarked to secure the man who is clearly at the top of his game.

Bellamy is a winner and winners can usually name their price. Some in this situation use a big new offer to take to their current employer for a new deal. Bellamy is playing it pretty coy but, reading between the lines, it seemed he did not totally discount a change in club and country. The creative businessmen should be put to work.

There would be merit in the New Zealand Rugby League grabbing Bellamy for the Kiwi coaching role as well. Why not? Many will say it's impossible but is anyone trying? Bellamy is dominating the NRL and it seems only vast sums of money may lever him out of his beloved Melbourne Storm. If it's only money, who is better positioned than the Warriors with the big wallets now backing them?

What would a premiership in 2013 mean to the Auckland-based club? Imagine it - full stadiums every fortnight and a thrilling ride through the NRL big time. Add the Kiwi World Cup dream and rugby league would be on a huge high.

It seems to me in trying to decipher the code of Bellamy-speak, it may be his loyalty to players (think the Big Three) which will ultimately keep him at the Storm. One can imagine that contracts for these three are indelibly linked to an assurance that he will stay at the helm of Melbourne at least for the next two years.

But anything is possible and Warriors fans deserve something better than the mediocre line-up of potential candidates at present.

- Herald on Sunday

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