Brandon Smith’s Melbourne career is coming to an end and Craig Bellamy is reportedly relieved to see the back of the man they call ‘Cheese’.
The New Zealand international will complete his move to the Sydney Roosters in just a few weeks, one of four stars who will leave AAMI Park along with Felise Kaufusi, Jesse and Kenny Bromwich.
But while Bellamy gave praise to the latter trio after Storm’s season ended in a 28-20 elimination finals loss to the Raiders last week, Smith was not mentioned.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Smith had “tired out his reception” in Melbourne and Bellamy reportedly made it clear he was fed up with his antics.
The Storm Whore has made headlines regularly this season and rarely for the right reasons.
Seemingly disappointed with Melbourne’s decision to sign Harry Grant as a long-term solution for No9, Smith announced his intention to leave the club.
The 26-year-old turned down an offer from the Storm to sign a two-year deal with the Roosters worth around $800,000 a season beginning in 2023.
If his decision to announce the deal at an extraordinary podcast appearance last December came as a surprise, it left Melbourne unimpressed when he heard Smith state his desire to win a Premier League with the Tricolors.
To complicate matters further, the Kiwi star also claimed that the Storm had “a drinking culture”, a revelation that went down at the club like a lead balloon.
Smith’s season went from bad to worse when he was suspended for three weeks after he called referee Adam Gee “cheating” after being turned into sins in Melbourne’s 28-6 loss to Cronulla.
Significantly, Bellamy did not defend Smith at the time.
“I don’t know what he said,” he said.
“We don’t want our players to show that kind of disrespect towards the referees. All I can say is that it won’t happen again.’
Earlier this week, the future Roosters hooker revealed he’s been relegated to solo training due to his suspension.
“It’s not the norm, it’s very special,” he said.
“I think it was just some kind of punishment for not putting the team first. It was pretty tough and a bit tedious.
“Getting up early and working out alone gets pretty boring. But being able to hang out with the guys now makes me a lot more grateful to be in a team sport.