Bellamy to stay with NRL Storm till 2013 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy to stay with NRL Storm till 2013

18/04/2008 05:13:24 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm have signed coach Craig Bellamy to a new five-year, multi-million dollar contract that will keep him at the NRL club until the end of the 2013 season.

The NSW Origin coach had been strongly linked with a move back to the Brisbane Broncos, where he had previously served as an assistant under Wayne Bennett, who is moving to St George Illawarra next year.

Bellamy said the team culture at the Storm was a key factor in his decision to stay.

"We've got a great culture here at the moment," he said.

"I really admire the playing group that we've got, not only as footy players but as people."

Storm CEO Brian Waldron said he would not discuss the specific financial terms of the arrangement with Bellamy, who coached the Storm to their second NRL premiership last year.

"(The contract) is commensurate with Craig's standing in the game, as it should be," he said.

"We believe we have the best coach and he needs to be well looked after and rewarded."

Bellamy said there were times during contract discussions when he was close to accepting an offer to move to the Broncos.

"As time goes on you sway to and fro, I don't know how close but at a couple of stages there it was 60-40 I was going to go," Bellamy said.

He said having his two children in Queensland was the main attraction of Brisbane's offer.

"It was a tough decision, I don't think there's been any secret, my attraction to going back to the Broncos was my kids live up there," he said.

"They've been such a great support, I know they would have preferred that we'd gone back up there to be close to them again.

"But both of them said `Dad do whatever makes you happy'."

Bellamy said he expected his decision would help convince some of the club's leading players to also remain in Melbourne.

That was backed up by captain captain Cameron Smith, who has a get out clause in his contract if Bellamy leaves, although Smith said it did not mean he would necessarily have left the club if Bellamy had decided to do so.

"Craig is an important part in anyone's decision of where they want to go and he holds a lot of weight when contracts come around," said Smith, one of many Queensland Origin players on the Storm's list.

"But there's a lot of factors in deciding which club you want to play for."

Smith said the players had tried not to let the issue distract them but it had been playing on their minds and Bellamy's decision to stay would help them concentrate on their upcoming matches.

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