Storm fans have been given an early dose of good news on the eve of the season with master coach Craig Bellamy extending his career in Melbourne until at least the end of 2018.
The Club announced on Friday that Bellamy would remain in the purple coach's seat for what will be an incredible 16 consecutive seasons by the time his new deal finishes.
The 57-year-old tactician had always said he wanted to decide his future before the start of the season and needed to take time over the summer to make the right call.
“I’ve taken the pre-season to make the decision because I wanted to be sure I still had the hunger and the passion to go on in the job,” Bellamy said.
“When the two trials came around I had butterflies in my stomach before the game so I was thinking I still had that hunger… when I stop getting nervous before games, then it is probably the time to go.”
“Purple is in my blood, I’ve been here that long and the relationships I’ve formed here with the people at the club and with the club has been very special.
“This has been a very special ride down here and hopefully there’s a few more special moments in the next three years.”
Since taking the reigns in 2003, Bellamy has taken the Storm to 12 finals campaigns in 13 seasons and five grand final appearances for three victories.
Storm chairman Bart Campbell spoke about the enormous imprint Bellamy has had on what the Club represents today.
“Craig is a huge part of the furniture here in addition to the wonderful service he has given this club with a tremendous winning record of 66 per cent,” Campbell said.
“He is much more than statistics to this organisation, he really is the heart and soul of the Club.”
Friday’s announcement is a huge boost for Storm as it prepares to host the Dragons this Monday night at AAMI Park to kick-off season 2016.