Craig Bellamy

Bellamy to remain Storm coach in 2024

The master coach signed a new five-year contract with Storm in 2022 that allows him to decide each year whether he will continue in the head coach role for the following season or transition into a coaching director role.

Today, he informed the club he would remain in charge of the NRL squad he has led in 532 games with a winning percentage of just under 70%, for another year.

“It took me a little while to make a decision to be honest. Six or eight weeks ago I was pretty certain I would be packing things up,” Bellamy said of his decision.

Better by the dozen: Inside Bellamy's coaching factory

That was the only advice Craig Bellamy gave to Jason Ryles before he addressed the Melbourne Storm playing group for the first time in his role as an assistant to the NRL’s current longest serving head coach.

“I was petrified,” Ryles said. “There was Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk in the room, and Craig was sitting there. I was just thinking, ‘what am I going to tell these guys’. But Craig never checked me, he never had a look at what I was presenting.

‘A dagger in the heart’: Departing trio leave Storm with ‘a big hole’ to fill

“We got what we deserved and Penrith got what they deserved,” he said.


CONFIRMED: Storm lock in Bellamy as details of long-term deal revealed

Bellamy will continue as head coach for at least the 2022 season — his 20th year in the top job. He will then reassess at the end of each of the remaining four seasons to decide whether he will continue coaching or move into a different role at the Storm.

Bellamy lauds stand-in fullback Munster

Munster was the star of the show in Melbourne’s 36-18 win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday night, making the most of his return to the No.1 jersey in the absence of Billy Slater.

The Queensland Origin five-eighth will move back into the halves when Slater returns from injury to play his 300th game, potentially next week, with his coach confident he can have a similar impact to what he had against the Bulldogs.

“He didn’t even have a touch there for a while but when he had a few he caused some problems,” Bellamy said.

Bellamy and Smith don't plan to retire together at Storm

Since both are off contract at the end of the 2018 Telstra Premiership, there has been speculation suggesting they could exitithe AAMI Park gates simultaneously so they didn't have to exist without the other.

Bellamy told no such plans or conversations had taken place on the subject of synchronising their final curtain calls.

"At the end of the day he's never asked me what I'm doing and I've never asked him. It's a pretty private and personal thing," Bellamy said.

Bellamy praises all-conquering Smith and Slater

The champion duo claimed every available major medal and trophy over the last year, including the Golden Boot and Dally M and Clive Churchill medals. On a team level, they secured a State of Origin series victory, a World Cup win, a Telstra Premiership and now a WCC triumph.

Bellamy said they don't always get the recognition they deserve.

"I was a really proud coach tonight," he said.

Bellamy to address cracks in Storm defence

The Storm have now conceded more than 20 points three times this season – all in the past four rounds – after allowing teams to score that many points just twice in 2016.

It could be the wake-up call the side needs before they enter a difficult Origin period without several of their stars.

Bellamy made sure his side learned from their mistakes after the full-time siren as they move ahead for the rest of the season.

Slater almost cleared for shock return

Melbourne Storm star Billy Slater was almost cleared to make an unlikely return from injury in the NRL finals series.

Slater, 33, underwent surgery on his shoulder in March, ruling him out for the rest of the season.

But the full-back was pushing for a return, with the Storm facing the Cronulla Sharks in the grand final on Sunday.

Storm football director Frank Ponissi confirmed Slater was close to a surprise comeback.

"He was feeling great within himself, he started training and he just decided to ask the question then [in August]," he told SEN.