Having inked a new five-year deal to remain with the club he has called home since 2003, Craig Bellamy appears an absolute moral to remain in Melbourne's coaching box in 2022.
Still, with the terms of his deal promising him an ambiguous role of his choosing with the Storm at the cessation of next season, there is no telling what strings the mastermind will be pulling and in what capacity.
However, according to a Wednesday afternoon report from Dean Ritchie of The Daily Telegraph, the powers that be in the Victorian capital have altered their initial pitch and appear desperate to keep Bellamy on as head coach past the end of next year.
“He signed that five-year extension with Melbourne recently," Ritchie told Sky Sports Radio.
"It was a head coach role next year and then he had that flexibility where he could transition out and go into some sort of advisory role, yet to be determined what exactly that would be. But he’d have 2022 at the Storm and then take a bit of a step back."
“Now Melbourne are thinking they want him to stay on again for another year, for 2023."
Despite his stance, Ritchie remained uncertain whether the move would come to fruition, however, he was steadfast that the Storm's brass were keen to keep Craig in his current post.
“It’s obviously not set in concrete yet and there’s a lot of work to go through before this happens — if it happens," he continued.
"But certainly in terms of the Melbourne Storm, they are now hoping that Craig might be talked around into going for another year.
“So he’ll complete this year, have 2022, then Melbourne might say ‘look, how about one for the road in 2023? Then you can transition out and move back to the Gold Coast’ — which is his plan — and maybe travel down to Melbourne here and there throughout the season and help with a little bit of coaching and a little bit of recruitment and retention."
Having earned another premiership ring in 2020 and with the stark possibility that Bellamy's digits could become further encrusted this October, the scribe often referred to as 'Bulldog' could see where the Storm were coming from in their amended pitch.
“But after what we’ve seen this year, going for 20 [wins] in a row, you sort of think ‘well, I can’t blame the Storm for wanting to hang on for as long as they can’ [to Bellamy]," Ritchie stated.
“At this point it’s a watch this space, certainly next year is locked in for Bellamy, but don’t be surprised if there’s one more year tacked on as his swan song.”
As a teammate of Bellamy's during their days at the Raiders, Laurie Daley is more than qualified to understand what the 61-year-old was able to offer Melbourne and agreed that it would be in the purple powerhouse's interest to seal said this proposed deal with their long-term coach.
“They’ve done it smartly the Melbourne Storm because they don’t want to lose him to another club,” he was quoted by The Daily Telegraph.
“But in particular, I’m sure he would have been on the radar of expansion clubs or an expansion team that’s likely to come into the competition in 2023 or 2024.”
Bellamy and his world beating Storm side are set to face Parramatta this Saturday night before rounding out their regular season campaign against Cronulla the following Friday.