Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy can’t hide his mixed emotions about Ryan Hoffman’s 250th NRL match.
Bellamy is thrilled to see Hoffman line up for his milestone match at AAMI Park on Monday but shattered that he will do it wearing a Warriors jersey.
The Storm life member was lured across the Tasman by a massive offer after 11 years and 245 games with Melbourne.
He’s been among the Warriors’ best in their 2-2 start to the season, scoring three tries, but Bellamy admits he’s not as comfortable with the move.
“I’m building myself up for that at the moment, just trying to picture him playing in that jersey at AAMI Park,” Bellamy said on Good Friday.
“It’s going to be pretty tough for everyone here but he will putting his emotions aside for 80 minutes and we’ll have to do the same.”
Bellamy was proud the Storm had played such a major part in Hoffman’s career after he started there back in 2003.
“At our club, for 10 years when there was a tough hit-up to be taken, Hoffy was always the first one there and I think that summed him up as a player.
“Off the field, he was a wonderful leader with the club and a bit old-school.
“As good a footy player as he is, he’s probably a better person if you could be that.”
Hoffman aside, Bellamy is preparing his side for another danger game.
Playing in Melbourne holds no fear for the Warriors, who have won three of their past five matches there.
The Storm are looking to rebound from their golden-point loss to North Queensland on Monday night.
The coach said there was a lot to like about his team’s performance in tough conditions in Townsville.
He made special mention of prop Jesse Bromwich, who had his first training session on Friday after being given an extra day’s recovery.
Bromwich made a team-high 19 runs for 193m and made a stunning 42 tackles.
“I’m not quite sure how he did what he did and had the figures that he did,” Bellamy said of Bromwich.
“That was quite a phenomenal performance and just goes to show his standing in the game now.”