Coach's bonds with Big Three key

ST George Illawarra Dragons great Paul McGregor said it would have been hard for Craig Bellamy to leave the Melbourne Storm.

Cutters coach and former Dragons player Paul McGregor (centre) says switching clubs is not easy.

Cutters coach and former Dragons player Paul McGregor (centre) says switching clubs is not easy.

McGregor said having Melbourne's "Big Three", Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater, would've had to be a strong attraction for him to stay in charge at the premiership side.

Now that Bellamy has decided to remain at the Storm, McGregor believes it's time for the Dragons to get on with the job of concentrating on this season.

"It's hard to leave a core group of people that you've had so much to deal with and start over again," McGregor said yesterday.

"There would have been, I suppose, an itch inside him to test himself outside the comfort of his own environment that, at times, has been an unbeatable side.

"But at the end of the day, it would be very hard for any coach to leave the best 9 (Smith), one of the best 7s (Cronk) and the best fullback (Slater) in the world behind.

"To do that, everything would have to align and I suppose, in this circumstance, he's decided to stay.

"He's probably done all right out of it.

"He's got a better price as well.

"I suppose at the end of the day, if the premiership coach is looking to come to your club, you've got to entertain the thought, don't you?

"And I suppose that's what the Dragons done.

"At the end of the day, he decided to stay in the comfort of where he is at the moment.

"That's a business decision and it will be his final coaching decision by the way he was talking.

"So it's now onward and upward for the Dragons.

"They've got to start the year well and control what they can control, which is the game of footy once they're out there."


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