Bellamy still sees 2021 as his last year

Scott Bailey
Melbourne Storm's Craig Bellamy is leaning towards walking away from coaching at the end of 2021

Craig Bellamy is still leaning towards walking away from head coaching at the end of next year when his current deal ends in Melbourne.

One of the most successful coaches in the game's history, Bellamy is yet to formally make a call on his future beyond on the 2021.

However, he has previously suggested last year he could walk away from week-to-week coaching at that point, after 19 years in charge of the Storm.

If he does leave, Bellamy could still likely have a future in the game and would be in hot demand as a coaching director given his tremendous management in Melbourne.

"I've got a contract with the Storm for next year so I'm not going to say what I'm going to do because I don't quite know to be honest," he said.

"But I'm thinking I'll be 62, I think next year will be it for head coaching.

"But things change sometimes. I'm not quite sure.

"I'm still enjoying it without a doubt but I think it might be time for someone else after next year."

If he does retire, Bellamy's exit could coincide with that of Cameron Smith if the star captain opts to go on for one more year beyond 2020.

Now aged 37 and with 417 games to his name, Smith is still looking just as good as ever after setting up six tries in six games this year and still getting through plenty of defence.

Bellamy's stance came as he joined Canterbury in denying a report that linked him with the NRL club, stating he'd never spoken to them about a move to Belmore.

But the self-managed Bellamy said he felt for Bulldogs counterpart Dean Pay, after questions were raised over his future in the media a fortnight ago.

Pay began his time as an under-20s coach in Melbourne under Bellamy before being an assistant at Parramatta and Canberra before inheriting Canterbury's salary cap woes in 2018.

"Dean Pay is a friend of mine, I don't think that's fair on Dean (for there to be speculation about a replacement)," Bellamy said.

"He's got into a tough job there and I think he's doing a pretty good job.

"He was at our club, he started his coaching career with our club. He was very well thought of at the Storm.

"To put that sort of pressure on him when it's not true, that's the wrong part of it."