Melbourne Strom coach Craig Bellamy is seriously considering retiring at season's end as his coaching faces intense media scrutiny.
According to a News Corp report, Bellamy is prepared to walk away from the game and the Storm.
Melbourne have been quietly confident that Bellamy would remain at the helm despite significant interest from the Brisbane Broncos, with the master mentor yet to decide his future in the NRL.
Journalist Paul Kent was very critical of Bellamy's coaching when on Fox League, implying that the Supercoach didn't have the welfare of players in mind when it comes to how his teams have tackled over the years.
“All right let me just say this, Grapple tackle, chicken wing, rolling pin, hip drop, crusher, crocodile rolls, cannon balls, ankle twists,” Kent said on NRL 360.
“The only constant in Melbourne since 2005 when all those tackles have been brought in and later banned in the game is the head coach Craig Bellamy.
“So I think the less advice we take from Craig Bellamy about the welfare of players the better.
First he ripped into Bellamy, then he turned on Ikin! Kenty is really fired up tonight... 🔥
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) March 24, 2021
“And you can go to town on that because you know what they are the ones that are doing it.
“The game is now producing rules to counter what Melbourne are trying to introduce. I’ve got no stock in it.”
Bellamy is said to be considering an altered role for 2022 at the Storm, having been so disheartened by Kent's claims.
Melbourne CEO Justin Rodski says the Storm are confident Bellamy will be the head coach in 2022 and beyond.
“We are certainly optimistic Craig will stay,” Rodski said.
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“He has been an incredible coach, not just in the NRL but Australian sport, for a long period of time.
“We’re expecting a decision from Craig pretty soon. There’s no rush from our end.
“Craig has had some things going on from a personal point of view that we have been very respectful of, but he has earnt the right to take his time to make that decision and when he does we look forward to making an announcement.
“His reputation, experience and success speaks for itself and we think he is at the top of his game.
“We are certainly really hopeful he remains at the Melbourne Storm for some time to come.”
Rodski did say however that the club would be able to facilitate Bellamy moving into a new role should that be what he desires.
“It’s certainly an option for Craig to transition into another role with us,” Rodski said.
“We would love him to keep coaching as long as he wants to keep coaching the team.
“We are also mindful that there will come a time where Craig wants to step back from the coaching role on a full-time basis.
“We would like to think in our discussions with Craig there is flexibility in the deal for him to do that at a time when he is ready to do that.
“We think Craig has a lot left to give the game and our club, he is making a significant contribution and we want him for a long time into the future.
The Storm will be looking to bounce back from consecutive losses to the Eels and Panthers when they face the Broncos on Good Friday.