New direction needed for Blues: Mortimer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New direction needed for Blues: Mortimer

By Steve Jancetic 25/06/2009 07:45:29 PM Comments (0)

The man who led NSW to their first Origin triumph, champion halfback Steve Mortimer, has led calls for the Blues to follow the lead of Queensland in appointing a coach free of NRL commitments.

While NSWRL general manager Geoff Carr backed Craig Bellamy to hold onto the job for a third term, Mortimer - who captained NSW to their 1985 win over the Maroons - said Queensland's four straight series wins was evidence enough of a need for change.

Bellamy has presided over the last two series losses, with no NSW coach in the history of Origin football having ever been retained after back-to-back defeats.

"Give Craig Bellamy a rest. I honestly believe it's better to have a coach not aligned to an NRL club," Mortimer said.

"We have plenty of coaches who are capable of doing it.

"You don't coach elite players in Origin, you bring them together, players who will find that compatibility and who will have faith in each other and have strength in each other."

Mortimer denied his desire for change was a pot-shot at Bellamy's ability as a coach, his tactics never given a chance to flourish under an avalanche of errors on Wednesday night.

"It's not like Craig coaching at the Melbourne Storm, and I've got the greatest wrap for Craig Bellamy, but I think it would be to NSW's advantage if we got a coach that was not with an NRL club.

"They also need to involve some former players - the (Brad) Fittlers and the like.

"It's what Queensland have done, you've got to learn about Origin.

"I honestly believe we have the players to win, it's just a matter of mental preparation."

Mental preparation is exactly what Bellamy is facing as he weighs up whether to have a third crack at beating the Maroons.

Bellamy will guide the Blues into game three in Brisbane on July 15 not knowing if that game will be his last, Carr saying a decision would be made in November.

But Carr did hint the job would be Bellamy's to give up after Blues officials were forced to convince the Melbourne mentor to take the job this year after he had reservations following last year's gut-wrenching series defeat.

"I've got a lot of confidence in Craig Bellamy, you can't be one of the best club coaches in the NRL and not be a good Origin coach," Carr told AAP.

"We appoint the coach for the year, we appoint selectors for the year.

"There's been nothing in the last two games as far as the result's concerned.

"Queensland deservedly won the series but the guys have got a chance to redeem themselves and there's every chance they will.

"The issue is Craig had to be talked into doing it this year.

"We've got a philosophy. As far as we're concerned we can't discuss 2010 until November 2009.

"(Bellamy) might have a different view, you've got to wait for the whole season to wash out and he might decide the whole lot's too hard or he might win the comp and want to do it again.

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