Melbourne Storm officials yesterday spoke about their desire to secure coach Craig Bellamy’s long-term future at the club – only hours after halfback Cooper Cronk signed a contract extension which sent a wave of relief through the NRL’s southern-most outpost.
Bellamy is off contract at the end of next season and rumours are rife that the Sydney Roosters are circling with a big offer. Cronk’s decision to re-sign – meaning all members of the club’s “big three” are locked to long-term deals – is likely to strengthen attempts to retain the coach, who is entering his 10th year in charge of Melbourne.
Chief executive Ron Gauci confirmed he had already held informal talks with Bellamy over his future and the pair would talk again when the coach felt the time was right.
“I have said that I am happy to have discussions with Craig about coaching beyond 2013 when he is ready,” Gauci said.
“I believe we have an honest enough relationship for him to tell me when he is ready. I have always told him the club wants him, I want him and therefore there is no pressure until he feels it is the right time.”
Asked about the Roosters rumours, Gauci said: “Craig and I have a good relationship. He certainly lets me know what’s going on.”