-NEWS- Badel: Real reason Croft left Melbourne

McHunt

NRL Player
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Sunshine Coast
Badel in the Sunday Mail fails to deliver on the headline:

Brodie Croft denies falling out with Cameron Smith, Craig Bellamy or anyone at the Storm, in the lead up to his first appearance for Brisbane, facing his former teammates, in the Perth Nines:

“My view on that is I don’t know what all those rumours (Croft falling out with Smith) have come from. I had a great relationship with all the boys there and that was the hardest thing about leaving Melbourne was the mateships I made down there for four years. I moved away from my family to go down there. I created some tight bonds so I found it really hard to leave. When I reflect on my time at Melbourne, it was a rollercoaster I guess you could say, but it developed me as a player and person. Having Craig Bellamy as a coach, I learnt so much, so I wouldn’t change anything.”

“Hopefully I can stamp my mark on the team. I wouldn’t call myself the saviour. It’s a really prestigious club and any time you wear the No.7 jersey there are going to be expectations and pressures. I don’t read into it too much. ‘Seibs’ (Broncos coach Anthony Seibold) sits down and tells me what he wants from my position and the accountability is now on me to perform and do what he wants. We want to win the premiership, that is the ultimate and every team would be silly not to have that as their goal. Hopefully as the season goes on we build well, look to the finals and then get to the big dance. I will just do my job.”

According to Badel: "His appearance with the Broncos squad yesterday at a club fan day gave him an insight into the pressures of life for an NRL star in Brisbane’s rugby-league fishbowl. Barely recognisable in AFL-obsessed Melbourne, Croft was bombarded for pictures and autographs yesterday by hundreds of success-starved Broncos fans."


McHunt
 

JamesC

BRL Player
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71
Brisbane
Articles like this are pretty meaningless, coz you know that, even if he did actually have a falling out, he’s going to say the exact same thing as what’s in the article, anyway.
 
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McHunt

NRL Player
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Sunshine Coast
So...what was the reason?
I have three theories: none of which are particularly palatable.

The first is he might be one of those guys who gets on everyone's nerves but doesn't realize it. Maybe because he's a selfish player, like a ball hog who ignores calls. Maybe he's full of himself. Maybe he's just annoying. He doesn't come across that way in interviews.

The second - the official answer - is Bellamy has seen what he has and either doesn't rate it, or he doesn't follow instructions.

The third is some kind of breach of conduct or friction with another player that's been kept quiet. That's probably what we want it to be.

What I've seen of him on the field looks pretty good to me.
 
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Stu_9

NRL Player
1,024
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Truth is I hope they did have a fall out and Croft leads us to two stunning victories against the storm in 2020. Couldn't give a flying fark if they had a fall out or not. Reality is he is now a Bronco and hopefully he can deliver in the 7 jersey.
A man can dream.
 

Fernando

NRL Player
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880
Bris
The second - the official answer - is Bellamy has seen what he has and either doesn't rate it
This is the most likely (combined with wanting a 7 that will compliment Smith and let him run things). But as good as Bellamy is he's not infallible and the moment Croft was dropped for the finals to allow Melbourne to play 3 fullbacks in their spine I thought they couldn't win the grand final.
I'm glad we signed him.
 

redhood

BRL Player
36
48
I feel like there had to be a bit of a fallout with either Smith or Bellamy.

To drop your halfback a few weeks from the finals when you have pretty much won the minor premiership, and the only games you have lost have been I think by either 1 or 2 points doesn’t make sense to me.

I can’t really say it was his form or not because I didn’t watch all the Storm games and didn’t focus on Croft’s game.

Maybe someone on here could give a better explanation on his 2019 form but I can’t comment on that.
 

raveenkari

QCup Player
312
288
Even if he did he isnt gonna come out say it in to the media lol.

Badel ya dense c*nt
 
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I bleed Maroon

State of Origin Captain
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Literally the only semi-productive thing this article brought to my attention is that last paragraph or so:

According to Badel: "His appearance with the Broncos squad yesterday at a club fan day gave him an insight into the pressures of life for an NRL star in Brisbane’s rugby-league fishbowl. Barely recognisable in AFL-obsessed Melbourne, Croft was bombarded for pictures and autographs yesterday by hundreds of success-starved Broncos fans."
A nice little illustration of what Croft is up against. It's no secret that the fans have hung their entire hopes on Croft being a legit player and a potential "savior". I just hope he has the maturity to be able to deal with that expectation effectively and doesn't just send him mad.
 

kooly87

NRL Player
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People are honestly reading way too much into this in my opinion. The simplest and most obvious answer is usually the correct one:

If Croft was out the door in isolation, honestly, the whole Smith thing, on top of being demoted before the Finals, would almost certainly appear to hold at least some weight.

He wasn't though. Melbourne have lost a host of players this off season and they've barely made a dent in the player market to replace them. To me that screams cap issues. Croft wasn't on huge money, but if the $400k figure is correct, then it's not exactly peanuts either.

They already have Munster who is their star Half, Jahrome Hughes, who Bellamy loves, and Papenhuyzen who exploded onto the scene last year and basically forced his way into the squad. That left one man on the outer and for better or worse Bellamy obviously decided that was Croft. If Croft at $400k can be replaced by Cooper Johns at basement price, and both of them spend the year coming off the bench or playing Queensland Cup, it's probably fair to say they are better going with Johns as value for money.

The icing on the cake that really cements my opinion though is the way Cam Smith's game has shifted in the last season or two. As Cronk and then Slater have departed, we've seen Smith taking on an even greater play making presence in the Storm side, effectively playing two roles at the same time.

Smith has probably one season left in him, Bellamy has also already indicated the expiration of his current deal will probably see him retire from Coaching too. This gives them probably one more roll of the dice to retire with another Premiership in the bag.

If the consensus amongst those two is that the best way to achieve this is by using Smith as both Dummy Half and Halfback, then honestly, Croft is basically redundant in that setup. He's an out and out Halfback and if Smith is going to do that job instead, then Croft has little to offer in any other role. Jahrome Hughes is a far stronger ball runner and can work off the back of Smith and Munster's play making to add a further dimension to the Storm attack.

This plan obviously didn't work out in the 2019 finals, but with a full off season up their sleeves, anything is really possible once those combinations have had more time to gel.

Only time will tell if the plan and the payoff are worth it. For many Storm fans I'm sure a Premiership would justify the loss of Croft in the future. Either way, Smith and Bellamy won't have to hang around to deal with the fallout as they'll both likely be retired, so you can objectively see why a gamble like this wasn't a hard one for them to make.
 
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Gaz

NRL Player
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Either way, Smith and Bellamy won't have to hang around to deal with the fallout as they'll both likely be retired,
Perhaps Bellamy. Can see Smith staying on as the new coach or assistant in waiting.
 

kooly87

NRL Player
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Perhaps Bellamy. Can see Smith staying on as the new coach or assistant in waiting.
It's a chance I suppose. Either way, they won't need a Halfback until Smith retires. I guess by then they're hoping Johns will have developed enough to step in. Either way, it made Croft at 400k and needing a starting Halfback gig to justify his salary, an easy one for Melbourne to let go to ease any pressure on their cap.
 

pagey

NRL Captain
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1,860
People are honestly reading way too much into this in my opinion. The simplest and most obvious answer is usually the correct one:

If Croft was out the door in isolation, honestly, the whole Smith thing, on top of being demoted before the Finals, would almost certainly appear to hold at least some weight.

He wasn't though. Melbourne have lost a host of players this off season and they've barely made a dent in the player market to replace them. To me that screams cap issues. Croft wasn't on huge money, but if the $400k figure is correct, then it's not exactly peanuts either.

They already have Munster who is their star Half, Jahrome Hughes, who Bellamy loves, and Papenhuyzen who exploded onto the scene last year and basically forced his way into the squad. That left one man on the outer and for better or worse Bellamy obviously decided that was Croft. If Croft at $400k can be replaced by Cooper Johns at basement price, and both of them spend the year coming off the bench or playing Queensland Cup, it's probably fair to say they are better going with Johns as value for money.

The icing on the cake that really cements my opinion though is the way Cam Smith's game has shifted in the last season or two. As Cronk and then Slater have departed, we've seen Smith taking on an even greater play making presence in the Storm side, effectively playing two roles at the same time.

Smith has probably one season left in him, Bellamy has also already indicated the expiration of his current deal will probably see him retire from Coaching too. This gives them probably one more roll of the dice to retire with another Premiership in the bag.

If the consensus amongst those two is that the best way to achieve this is by using Smith as both Dummy Half and Halfback, then honestly, Croft is basically redundant in that setup. He's an out and out Halfback and if Smith is going to do that job instead, then Croft has little to offer in any other role. Jahrome Hughes is a far stronger ball runner and can work off the back of Smith and Munster's play making to add a further dimension to the Storm attack.

This plan obviously didn't work out in the 2019 finals, but with a full off season up their sleeves, anything is really possible once those combinations have had more time to gel.

Only time will tell if the plan and the payoff are worth it. For many Storm fans I'm sure a Premiership would justify the loss of Croft in the future. Either way, Smith and Bellamy won't have to hang around to deal with the fallout as they'll both likely be retired, so you can objectively see why a gamble like this wasn't a hard one for them to make.
It's still yet to be seen if he is the out and out halfback you say he is. Smith was playing as a 7/9 last year that is why Bellamy was happy to punt him before the finals, he's about to get thrown in the deep end now so time will tell.
 

kooly87

NRL Player
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It's still yet to be seen if he is the out and out halfback you say he is. Smith was playing as a 7/9 last year that is why Bellamy was happy to punt him before the finals, he's about to get thrown in the deep end now so time will tell.
They were the comfortable Minor Premiers who dumped their Halfback and were then subsequently bowled out of the finals without a whimper remember. Just because Bellamy made that call, it doesn't mean it was a good one.

Of course the verdict is still out on Croft. It's still out on just about any NRL player in their early 20's. He does have an excellent pedigree though and he's contributed to a pretty successful NRL side in Melbourne prior to coming to us. He's played U20's Origin and he's the U23 Kangaroos Halfback and Vice Captain to boot.

Yes, maybe he achieved all of that by good luck or being in the right place at the right time and maybe all those selectors were just overestimating his abilities. Honestly, that doesn't seem hugely likely though.
 
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