Storm coach just wants Smith to be happy

Ed Jackson
·2-min read

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy simply wants Cameron Smith to find happiness as the veteran hooker continues to weigh up his NRL playing future.

Smith said he hasn't given much thought to whether he will play on in 2021 or retire, in the weeks after the Storms' grand final win over Penrith, but admitted he has some "thorough" thinking to do.

One thing Smith is promising is he'll only play on next year if he's 100 per cent committed to the task.

"There's so much commitment and sacrifice that you need to give to be an NRL player and where I'm at at the moment, I'm 37," Smith said at the launch of his autobiography, The Storm Within, in Brisbane on Monday.

"There have been players that have played, not many, but there have been players that have played around my age and more so around these times, than ever.

"It's really about am I going to have the same level of commitment?

"And am I willing to sacrifice all the things you need to sacrifice to be an NRL player and not just not just an NRL player that rolls out and just plays on the weekend?

"I've got a level, a standard that I have, that I want to be able to achieve every every time I train and every time I play.

"If I don't feel I can be at that high standard, then that will contribute to my decision as well."

Having made all of his record 430 NRL appearances at the Storm, Smith will need to find a club to play at in 2021 if he does play on with Gold Coast reportedly among those interested.

Bellamy said after nearly 20 years of service, Smith owed the Storm nothing and whatever decision the ex-Queensland and Australia captain makes, he'll support it.

"I just want to see Cameron be happy, whatever his decision is," Bellamy said.

"Barb and the family, as long as they're happy with what they do, we at the Storm, we've had him for his whole career so we're not going to be too selfish if he wants to play somewhere else.

"He's done one hell of a job for us and we just want him and his family to be happy with whatever they do."

As to potentially playing at a different club next year, Smith said it was still a concept he struggles to get his head around.

"It's not going to be about picturing myself playing in a different jersey or a different club," he said.

".It's about whether I want to make that commitment to play again and if it is, and if it's another club, then I'll have to adjust to that."