24 April 2010. Surrounded by all 22 players, Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy reads a statement to the media regarding the future of the club in light of the penalties handed out by the NRL for systematic cheating of the salary cap. Photo: Paul Rovere Melbourne Storm fans like Greg Long and Fiona Murphy did it hard in 2010. Photo: Paul Rovere
It took a premiership for some Storm fans to get over the pain of the club’s 2010 season. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Melbourne Storm star Will Chambers has offered an insight into how Bomber players might feel if their club is banned from the AFL finals as part of the penalty for Essendon’s controversial supplements program.
Melbourne Storm was forced to play for no points during the 2010 NRL season and was stripped of the 2007 and 2009 titles as punishment for serious salary cap breaches.
“We sort of don’t talk too much about it, but you feel for the Essendon boys … It’s obviously happened here in 2010. And the boys that you talk to who were around the place were here in 2010 say it was the hardest time of their life, “ Chambers told SEN radio Monday morning.
“You play footy every week for September and all of a sudden to have that taken away from you is a very hard thing.”
Chambers said it took another premiership, in 2012, for the Storm players to heal somewhat, but the penalties are still a sore point.
“I know up until last year basically when we won it that was the little thing that the boys got some satisfaction. They had everything taken away from them in 2010 and to get back to where they did last year.
“It’s still a point where no one talks about anything like that at the club because it’s still such a hard point for some of the boys.”
However, Chambers said Storm bounced back strongly from the ignominy of 2010, and the punishments even served as a motivator for some players.
“With the Storm … one thing’s for sure, it was a driving point. Not that anyone ever said anything about it.
“But you could tell that were certain boys in our side that it meant a little bit to, especially when their names were dragged through it all.
“It’s just that little driving point when times do get tough you can get through them.”
Of what the Bombers players will feel, if, as expected, they miss out on playing finals, despite qualifying, Chambers didn’t sugarcoat his response.
“It can’t get any worse. You were meant to play finals this week and all of a sudden it’s taken away from you. It’s pretty tough.”
Storm coach Craig Bellamy said this weekend that if Essendon had to lose points it should take the punishment this season, as Melbourne’s experience in 2010 had been soul destroying.
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