Coach Bellamy to stay with strong Storm side until 2016
MELBOURNE Storm set off for its World Club Challenge game with Leeds buoyed by the news that coach Craig Bellamy has locked in with the reigning premier until the end of the 2016 season.
Before heading off to the UK ahead of the big clash on February 22, Bellamy said he had considered a number of coaching challenges but decided on extending his contract with the Storm by three years.
"During the off-season, I've had plenty of time to consider a number of attractive options," Bellamy, who reportedly was a target for the Dragons, said.
"I've said on a few occasions that this might easily be my last coaching contract.
"That's why I wanted to make sure that whatever decision I made was the right one."
Bellamy is about to start his 11th season at Storm and steered the club to a premiership last season, its fifth grand final appearance in the past seven years.
He said part of the reason he decided to stay with club was his relationship with the player group and he said there was still plenty to look forward to.
"I have been at the Storm now for over a decade and now that I'm on board until 2016 I look forward to the challenges ahead," Bellamy added.
"I'm excited with the current playing roster and our future prospects.
"I'm really looking forward to flying to the United Kingdom today for the World Club Challenge. It will be good to fully concentrate on coaching again without any distractions."
Storm chief executive Ron Gauci said Bellamy was the right person to oversee the continued success.
"Craig has proven himself to be one of the elite coaches in Australian sport and we believe this new contract reflects his true value and his status in the sporting landscape," he said.
"We have always been respectful of Craig's wishes to take the time to review his options.
"This re-signing is also an endorsement of Craig's confidence in the club's strategy, our direction and the team's prospects for the future."