THE BREAK­FAST CLUB

The Australian - The Deal - - News/People/Events -

Man­agers across Aus­tralia could take a leaf out of the play­book of pre­mier­ship­win­ning Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bel­lamy, who has built one of the most suc­cess­ful teams in the National Rugby League.

More than 120 peo­ple at­tended the first deal­club event, a break­fast au­di­ence with Bel­lamy held last month at the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art’s Har­bour­side Room, over­look­ing Syd­ney’s Cir­cu­lar Quay. Bel­lamy spoke can­didly for more than an hour about his time as a player and coach. As with the Syd­ney Swans in the AFL, who won the grand fi­nal in their code last year, the Storm’s suc­cess is based on a “no dick­heads” ap­proach to team cul­ture.

The im­por­tance of a strong cul­ture is one of Bel­lamy’s ma­jor themes as a coach and he works hard to avoid play­ers who might be dis­rup­tive. So when look­ing for new tal­ent, he not only con­sid­ers on-field skills, but qui­etly does his own back­ground checks on a player’s char­ac­ter.

Bel­lamy also made it clear that he fash­ions the Storm’s strat­egy around three key play­ers, team cap­tain and hooker Cameron Smith, full­back Billy Slater and half­back Cooper Cronk.

When such play­ers de­part, he said, a team must adapt its strat­egy to the strengths of the next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers.

Craig Bel­lamy (be­low) stressed the value of a “no dick­heads” ap­proach to cul­ture.

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