Craig Bellamy has agreed to a new long-term deal that will see him remain with Melbourne Storm until the end of the 2026 season.
Fast approaching the 500-game milestone, the Bellamy-Storm partnership will reach almost a quarter of a century and will see Bellamy become the longest serving NRL coach at a single club.
Bellamy said he was excited to have made the long-term commitment and was grateful of the support the Club had provided over the last 12 months.
“There have been a lot of moving parts on and off the footy field, but it’s good to have finality on the decision,” Bellamy said.
“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.Craig Bellamy
“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.”
Melbourne Storm Chairman, Matt Tripp, said the Club was thrilled to have Bellamy committed for the long term.
“Craig is one of the most respected and regarded coaches, not just in rugby league but in world sport. We see the influence he has as a coach and as a mentor and leader for our players, coaches and staff which makes him one of the most sought-after people in the game,” Tripp said.
“Craig has shown an amazing ability to adapt over the years, having coached some of the best players the game has seen under very different circumstances and very different football eras.
“He has led the football club through some of the most challenging periods in our short history, particularly in the last two years with the challenges that have been thrown at him as head coach through the COVID pandemic.
It was important that both Craig and the club took the time to reach this decision, particularly considering the length of the extension and other factors that needed to be taken into account. It was important Craig was given the time over the last 12 months to make the decision that was right for him, his family and the club.Matt Tripp Melbourne Storm Chairman
Bellamy took on the senior coaching role with Storm in 2003 leading the team to a semi-final in his first year.
Since that time Storm has played in a remarkable 17 final’s series, winning the Grand Final on five occasions, the minor premiership seven times, and has the best win-loss record of any coach in the NRL.
He has been awarded the Dally M Coach of the Year on five occasions, Rugby League International Federation Coach of the Year twice and has coached 490 NRL matches for 343 wins, 145 losses and two draws.