It is something that the Storm have been mulling over for ages, and with the announcement of Cooper Cronk’s new Storm contract yesterday – their attentions have now shifted to the retention of coach Craig Bellamy.
With Bellamy off contract at the end of season 2013, rumours are rife that he is set for a move to the Sydney Roosters, who are believed to have a big offer for Bellamy, regarded as one of the game’s best coaches.
Working in the Storm’s favour however, is the continued growth and development of talented juniors, as well as the continued ability to work alongside perhaps the best core players in the NRL, in Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.
Ron Gauci, the Melbourne Storm Chief Executive, confirmed that he had already begun informal talks with Bellamy about his future, and that the two would talk again when Bellamy felt it was the right time to do so.
“I have said that I am happy to have discussions with Craig about coaching beyond 2013 when he is ready,” Gauci said.
“I believe we have an honest enough relationship for him to tell me when he is ready. I have always told him the club wants him, I want him and therefore there is no pressure until he feels it is the right time.”
The rumours of his supposed departure to the Roosters are ones that Gauci knows about, and he said:
Craig and I have a good relationship. He certainly lets me know what’s going on.”
Despite coming off-contract at the end of 2013, Bellamy is not in a hurry to delve into any new contract negotiations, though it is a known fact that he enjoys working alongside the current crop of players that he has.
“I haven’t thought about it too much,” Bellamy said.
“I have had a bit of a chat to the people here. But I feel more comfortable concentrating on the footy at the moment. When the time feels right I’ll talk to them again about my contract.”