For Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy, his 3rd National Rugby League premiership was the most challenging, and satisfying, of a long and successful career. The 2020 season was unlike any other. Forced to relocate to QLD’s Sunshine Coast in June because of Victoria’s Covid-19 lockdown, the Storm players, coaches and support staff spent 5 months interstate. Some took their families north, others did it tougher being unable to be around their loved ones and friends.
If adversity breeds resilience then Bellamy and his players are men of steel. Bellamy is no stranger to adversity. In 18 years at the helm of the Melbourne Storm, he faced no bigger challenge than the 2010 season during which the club was stripped of its 07 and 09 titles for salary cap breaches. It was the only year in which Bellamy failed to guide the Storm to the finals.
“I’ve seen a big change in the NRL with mental health; it’s OK to say I’m not OK and it’s OK to go and see a professional about your issues and I’d hope that is the same in society as well.”
His record is unmatched in modern Rugby League, having guided the ‘Purple Machine’ to four of the past five grand finals and his men have lifted the trophy twice, most recently beating Penrith 26-20. Bellamy’s record for nurturing talent is unsurpassed. Perhaps his biggest achievement is taking young men & turning them into team players whose roles are essential in the making of a successful side.