Bellamy says Storm decision comes first

Melissa Woods
Melbourne's Craig Bellamy plans to use next week's NRL bye to consider his coaching future

Staying with the Melbourne Storm or off to the Brisbane Broncos and a year-long scouting mission - Craig Bellamy is tossing up all options as he contemplates his NRL future.

The in-demand coach admitted on Wednesday to having talks with the Broncos with a three-year offer from the Storm also on the table.

Bellamy said before he could think about Brisbane, which could involve spending a year out of the game with Wayne Bennett locked in at the Broncos in 2019, he needed to decide on the Melbourne offer.

He said he planned to use next week's bye to make a call and declined to hint at where his future lay.

"Because our program has been really hectic with a short turnaround and a fair bit of travel, I haven't had the time to sit down and give it the time I need to make some sort of decision," Bellamy said.

"There's a whole heap of things to go through - it's not just the dollar signs. I need to make sure I'm very clear in what I'm going to do."

Bellamy is off contract at the end of this season but the Broncos have guaranteed Bennett's future there next season.

The pair have a long history with Bellamy an assistant to Bennett before joining Melbourne in 2003 and Bellamy said he spoke to his fellow coach before sitting down with Broncos boss Paul White.

"The last thing that I wanted to be was disrespectful to Wayne, especially this week when he coaches his 800th game," he said.

Melbourne chief executive Dave Donaghy told SEN radio the club wouldn't consider giving Bellamy a one-year deal to fit in with the Broncos.

"There's lot of confidence in our football club in terms of what we offer and we're not in the business of being someone else's feeder team," Donaghy said.

Bellamy didn't rule out sitting out a year and said he'd already contemplated spending extra time with other sporting organisations to further hone his craft.

"I've never had a year off," he said.

"You could look at it in two ways. It could be refreshing and you can go and have a look at other organisations and pick up some things.

"We usually do that for two weeks at the end of the year but having said that, having a year off sometimes the game evolves very quickly and you could lose some touch."

With a grand final rematch against North Queensland on Friday night Bellamy said he hadn't spoken to his players but believed they understood his situation.

With no deadline accompanying the Storm deal, he said he wouldn't be pressured into a decision.

"When I sit down and go through some thought processes it will be what's best for me and my family and the footy club because I've been here a long time and it's like a family itself."

If he did decide to leave after 16 years at the helm, he nominated his assistant Adam O'Brien as the man to take his job.