He’s off to the Sydney Roosters in 2023, but departing Melbourne Storm dummy-half Brandon Smith has sought to set the record straight on a number of claims about the end of his time in the Victorian capital.
Smith told the Daily Telegraph he took umbrage with suggestions in the media that he had fallen out with Storm coach Craig Bellamy, insisting the two have a close relationship and a ‘special bond’ that was perfectly captured by their final moments together as player and coach following the elimination final loss to Canberra.
“It was so emotional,” Smith said of his final moments in Storm colours.
“(Bellamy) came up to talk to me and thanked me for everything I’ve done and I thanked him back.
“He kissed me on the forehead and said the kindest things. I just started bawling because I love the man.
“Seeing that article (about a fallout) last week… It was bullsh*t. To say something like that about our personal relationship, it couldn’t have been further from the truth.”
Those reports, which suggested the player and coach had fallen out, have since been dismissed as an oversight.
“It was tough to read because we’ve always had a special bond,” Smith said.
“People think (Bellamy) is this angry guy from what you see on TV. He’s actually the opposite. There’s a very soft side to him. I’ve spent nearly every day with him for six years. I’d do anything for him. If he asked me to paint his house I wouldn’t hesitate.
“From day one when I announced I was joining the Roosters, he was great. I walked into his office and he said he’d never hold a grudge against me.”
Smith also dismissed suggestions his reason for leaving Melbourne was financial, revealing he could have earned more money in other places had he elected not to go to Bondi.
“People tried to suggest I left because I was money hungry. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Smith said.
“No word of a lie, the Roosters’ offer was the lowest of all the clubs I spoke to. I’ve taken $200,000 less than the Dolphins and $100,000 less than the Storm offered.
“I decided to go to the Roosters because they’re a competitive club where I can start at hooker. That’s my favourite position, money has nothing to do with it.
“The Storm have Harry Grant and we can’t both play hooker. The opportunity to have a full pre-season training as a hooker and then starting as one is what convinced me to join (the Roosters).”