Melbourne Storm coach Bellamy ‘bored’ without NRL

He joked that one positive was the lack of Melbourne traffic. Bellamy said he’d spent his downtime reviewing the two rounds of the NRL that had been played – ensuring the Storm was well prepared for whenever competition resumed.

“I’ve been doing a bit of footy stuff – spent a bit of time watching the other teams and I’m sure other coaches are doing the same,” he said.

“I find it a whole heap different to what I’m usually doing.”

Bellamy said he hadn’t spoken to many of his players since they were sent off on four weeks’ leave, with some heading to Queensland and others to New Zealand, but planned to contact them next week to check on their physical and mental health.

“I will try and ring all of them – five or six players a day – and see how they’re going with their training programs and anything else they might need during this time,” he said.


“But the big thing for them during this time is to get into a routine and hopefully stick to it.”

Bellamy, chief executive Dave Dongahy, and the Storm football department announced last week they would take a 50 per cent pay cut to help the NRL club survive.

Meanwhile, Storm forward Christian Welch is trying to lift the spirits of isolated older people by phoning to check on their welfare during the coronavirus pandemic – and he’s hoping to get other NRL players on board.

The likeable prop, who has his sights set on being an NRL club chief executive after his playing days are over, says he recognised that while many younger people could connect through social media, there are older members of the community who cannot.

Welch tweeted: “In these isolating times young people can still feel connected through social media but seniors are often without. I’m calling on all fans storm or any other NRL club, if you know a senior who would be cheered up receiving a call from a player get in touch #SupportASenior.”

Welch got the idea after visiting his grandparents in their Brisbane nursing home. He hoped that players from other codes would also get involved in their downtime from competition and training during the coronavirus shutdown.

One fan responded that his North Queensland fan father would be thrilled to get a call from Johnathan Thurston or another Cowboys player and Welch said he would try to make a call happen.

He also said he would reach out to Manly and Brisbane players to contact ageing fans.

One person suggested that Welch call his captain Cameron Smith, asking if the 36-year-old qualified as a senior. Welch said he couldn’t answer that “if I want to get back into first grade this year”.


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