Bellamy: Glad David Kidwell's not a Warrior

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:00 28/07/2013

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Storm boss Craig Bellamy believes his assistant coach David Kidwell will become a great first-grade coach one day - but is glad the hard-hitting Kiwis legend didn't take the Warriors top job last season.

Kidwell was interviewed for the Warriors coaching job for 2013 last October, and was tipped by multiple media outlets as the likely man to take the job.

However Kidwell withdrEw himself from the process late in the piece, with Sunday News understanding the 25-test Kiwi grew frustrated with the time the Warriors took to make a decision.

After a year as the Storm Under-20s coach, Kidwell has served as Bellamy's assistant at AAMI Park since 2011 alongside Broncos legend Kevin Walters.

Bellamy believes doing an "apprenticeship" is key to becoming a top NRL coach - and said that Kidwell needs more time as an assistant before making the step up.

"Different people do different apprenticeships," Bellamy told Sunday News. "I did 10 years myself but if I look back, I think I was ready after seven or eight.

"If someone offered me a role and I'd taken it after three years, I probably wouldn't have been ready.

"You see some guys that only do a one-year apprenticeship and they do the job good. Obviously it's a lot to do with the team you've got as well. We're all better coaches with better players.

"I think the longer it is, probably the better. You don't want to be in too big a rush. That seems to be life in general these days.

"Everyone's in a hurry to get straight to the top without doing the time. Hopefully for Kiddy's sake, he does a reasonable apprenticeship and I'm sure he'll be ready."

The Warriors, who take on Bellamy's Storm at Mt Smart Stadium today, eventually chose former Raiders and Panthers boss Matt Elliott to take over the reins from the sacked Brian McClennan last year.

Elliott has taken the Warriors to an 8-9 record, with the side sitting on the cusp of the top eight heading into today's clash.

Though he decided against joining the Warriors last year, Bellamy believes Kidwell will make a fantastic NRL coach in the future - joining the ranks of Bill Kelly, Graham Lowe and Brian McClennan as Kiwis who have coached first-grade.

"Without a doubt," Bellamy said. "He's only a young guy, Kiddy. I think he only had the one year coaching the Under-20s and he's come on to be my assistant.

"He's been there for three years. He's only a young coach but he's got a big future in the game. He obviously had a successful career. It doesn't mean you have to be a great NRL player to be a good coach, but that experience certainly helps. It helps you understand what players go through at times.

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"He knows the game well and somewhere down the track he'd make a good first-grade coach."

- Sunday News

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