Bellamy couldn't go against Slater, Smith

Scott Bailey
Craig Bellamy has re-signed as Melbourne's NRL coach to stay with the likes of Cameron Smith

Craig Bellamy says the prospect of having to coach against the likes of Billy Slater and Cameron Smith convinced him to stay in Melbourne.

The Storm confirmed Bellamy would remain at the club until 2021 on Sunday, as they claimed a crucial victory in the battle with Brisbane to retain the veteran's services.

The deal, believed to be worth $4 million over the three seasons, will mean Bellamy will steer the club into the next era after the eventual retirements of both Slater and Smith.

But Bellamy said it was the thought of having to coach against the pair, along with Ryan Hoffman, that made him want to remain in Melbourne.

"I'm very happy to be remaining at Melbourne Storm. There were a number of factors to weigh up and I'm glad now to have my future decided," Bellamy said in a statement.

"It would've been pretty hard to leave the players, I'm very close to the group here and that was one of the reasons I decided to stay.

"It would've been very hard to coach against guys like Cameron, Billy and Hoffy who were all here when I started in 2003.

"Melbourne Storm was the first club to give me the opportunity to coach at first grade level, so I certainly owed the club something in that respect and I'm looking forward to the next three years."

Bellamy has coached 408 games at Melbourne for 277 wins - his strike rate of 67.9 per cent only second to Norm Provan of all coaches to have overseen more than 100 matches.

The 58-year-old has guided the Storm to seven grand finals since taking charge in 2003, winning four, albeit with the 2007 and 2009 titles stripped due to the salary cap saga.

"I'm personally delighted Craig has once again recommitted himself to Storm," Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy said.

"The Storm is a special club, with wonderful people and an environment that allows our staff and players to constantly challenge themselves and grow in their roles - Craig has been a key driver of that.

"In speaking to Craig throughout this process, it's clear his enthusiasm for coaching, especially our next generation of talent, shows no sign of slowing down.

"There is still much to achieve at Storm for him."