Bellamy backs Gidley's leadership - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy backs Gidley's leadership

By Steve Jancetic 09/06/2010 07:11:11 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Craig Bellamy has described Kurt Gidley as a leader by action rather than words - but insists the dumped skipper can still do the job from the comforts of the interchange bench.

Gidley will be forced to watch on helplessly from the sidelines as the Blues begin their arduous task of taking down the Queensland juggernaut on Wednesday night - the captain's demotion to the bench a first for State of Origin football.

Having earned the tag of captain courageous after selflessly putting his body on the line in last year's series finale, Gidley again put up a brave front as he came to grips with his relegation.

"Starting the game is something every player likes to do - everyone wants to be a part of that first tackle or the first run," Gidley said on Wednesday.

"It is disappointing not to be starting the game but I've still got a pretty big role to play on the team when I do get on there.

"I didn't take it as an insult or anything ... I don't really care where I play as long as this 17 is the right team to get a win in this game and the series."

Asked about he circumstances in which Bellamy broke the news to him after new fullback Jarryd Hayne escaping a striking charge at the judiciary on Tuesday night, Gidley said:

"It was probably hard for him to do and a hard thing to hear - but if it's the best thing for us to get a win, that's my part in the team and I have to do that."

Bellamy said he had no hesitation in leaving the 'c' beside Gidley's name, and he was anticipating a seamless transition in leadership duties between Gidley and the man who will lead the Blues onto the field, Trent Barrett.

That Gidley would not be there for the first tackle mattered little to the under-pressure coach.

"We all wanted him as captain and he's the best man to lead us this week and he's the best man to lead us on Wednesday night," Bellamy said.

"He might not be there for the first 20-25 minutes but we all think he's the best man for that job.

"He's one of those leaders that doesn't say a whole heap but he leads by his actions - they're always the best leaders.

"We saw what happened last year when they put that bomb up, he knew that everyone in Queensland was coming after him and he stood there and he took it and did what you want a leader to do."

Gidley said he expected to relieve Michael Ennis at dummy half while also being given a roving commission towards the back end of each half in an expanded role to the one he was given off the bench by Bellamy in 2008.

While he seems to have paid the price for his versatility as much as the irresistible push for Hayne to be given a crack in the No.1 jumper, the Newcastle fullback-come-halfback said he had no resentment about being labelled Mr Fix-it.

"It's a good thing for me ... I would never have played for Australia if I couldn't cover a few positions," Gidley said.

"I think when I do finish and look back I'll be over the moon that I could play a few positions because I certainly wouldn't have got the opportunity to get what I've done."

"Having a chat to (Bellamy) he's got a different plan and probably a better plan - it is hard sitting on the bench watching the more the game goes on but I think he's got a different plan this time to get me on a bit earlier which is great."

The Blues held their first training session at Parramatta on Wednesday before heading for the far north NSW coastal town of Kingscliff in the afternoon to continue their preparations.

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