Bellamy makes big call on his future

Storm coach Craig Bellamy will go again in 2025. Picture: NRL Pics
Storm coach Craig Bellamy will go again in 2025. Picture: NRL Pics

The Craig Bellamy era at Melbourne Storm will continue into 2025 after the master coach decided to keep his legendary career going for one more season.

Bellamy signed a five-year contract with Storm in 2022 that allows him to decide each year whether he will continue in the head coach role for the following season or transition into a coaching director role.

With his team sitting second on the NRL ladder, with seven wins from the opening eight games and a stunning 21st finals series since he took over in 2003 on the horizon, Bellamy, now 64, has opted to stay in charge for a 23rd season.

His decision comes ahead of a monster Saturday night clash with ladder leaders Cronulla at AAMI Park.

Storm has continued to regenerate during Bellamy’s reign, again boasting one of the NRL’s best spines with Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes, who this week said he wanted to remain at Melbourne amid speculation of a possible move to the Gold Coast Titans, Ryan Papenhuyzen and new captain Harry Grant.

Just last week, before he played his 200th game for Melbourne, superstar Storm playmaker Munster said Bellamy’s ongoing presence was one of the main reasons he knocked back a monster offer from the Dolphins to remain at the club.

“Everyone laughs about me being his son, and having that love-hate relationship that we have going on, but I knew deep down that I didn’t want to be coached by anyone else,” he said.

NRL Rd 8 -  Storm v Rabbitohs
Craig Bellamy and Cameron Munster on Anzac Day. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

“And, it’s funny enough, I’m still trying to get him to stay longer as he’s getting longer in the tooth, but for me, I’m just very grateful for the owners, and obviously Craig guided me into the person I am.”

Storm brought former Bellamy assistant Jason Ryles back to the club in 2024, which was speculated as a succession plan. But he’ll have to bide his time after Friday’s decision.

Bellamy is one of only four coaches in premiership history to reach the 500-game mark and heads the list for most consecutive games with one club.

He took Storm to the finals in his first year in charge, and 19 more finals series since, winning five grand finals and seven minor premierships.

Bellamy has the best win-loss record of any current coach in the NRL, has been awarded the Dally M Coach of the Year on six occasions and the Rugby League International Federation Coach of the Year twice.