Craig Bellamy commits long-term future to Melbourne

Drew Darbyshire

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has signed a new deal that will see him stay with the club until at least the end of 2026.

The 62-year-old Australian took over the senior coaching role with Melbourne in 2003 and since then the Storm have reached the finals 17 times, won the Grand Final on five occasions and the Minor Premiership seven times. He also has the best win-loss record of any coach in the NRL.

Bellamy has been awarded the Dally M Coach of the Year five times, Rugby League International Federation Coach of the Year on two occasions and has coached almost 500 NRL matches.

Bellamy said: “There have been a lot of moving parts on and off the footy field, but it’s good to have finality on the decision.

“I will be the head coach next year and then I will sit down with the club at the end of each year and talk about what role I might play. At some time during this period I will take on a different role in coaching and in the commercial area.

“This is my 19th year and there have been some wonderful times over that period. Having the comfort in the surroundings and knowing how the club works certainly helped in making my decision.

“I really enjoy working with this group of players and staff. It’s a typical Storm group in that they work hard and have great care in what they do and great care for the club.

We are obviously feeling for our fans in Melbourne who love their footy and love coming to watch us play which they haven’t been able to do for the last two years. Hopefully we can get back home in the back part of the year.”

Bellamy’s time at Melbourne will see him become the longest serving NRL coach at a single club.