MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Craig Bellamy, Head Coach of the Storm receives a standing ovation after coaching his 500th NRL game during the round two NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at AAMI Park, on March 17, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Coaching great Craig Bellamy has extended his stay at the Melbourne Storm to 21 seasons after agreeing to a one-year extension to keep him in Melbourne for 2023.

In recent years, Bellamy has been constantly linked with moves away from the Storm, with both coaching and director roles at rival clubs on offer. Last year, Cronulla were eager to lure Bellamy to a director role but ultimately chose to remain in Melbourne.

Bellamy has been coach of the Storm since the 2003 NRL season, totalling 508 games coached, and is commonly regarded as one of the greatest coaches of all time.

The three-time premiership coach boasts a winning percentage of 70.3% and has never coached in a losing season during his time at the Storm.

“The group we have here at the moment are a pretty exciting group and they’re an enjoyable group to work with and hang around with,” Bellamy said.

“Our staff off the field are really good people and I know how hard they work. It’s a pleasure working with them.

“I think I’ve got another 12 months to give so I’m looking forward to that next year.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: Cameron Smith and Craig Bellamy of the Storm hold up the NRL premiership trophy during the Melbourne Storm NRL Grand Final celebrations at Gosch's Paddock on October 2, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Bellamy's extension is sureto have an impact on the future of Storm star Cameron Munster, who is out of contract and the subject of interest for many rival clubs.

The 27-year-old's agent, Braith Anasta, has said that Munster's future has always been based around Bellamy's.

"He (Munster) loves playing for Bellyache and it's a really important part of his decision," Anasta told The Daily Telegraph.

"It's not all about money."

The 63-year-old is understood to have until March of next year to notify the Storm of his future beyond 2023.

His re-signing is a major boost for the Storm, who sit in second on the NRL ladder with a record of 8-2 to start the season.

The Storm will face the third-placed Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday night.