Storm hope Bellamy bound to NRL club

By Melissa Woods,

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    Melbourne Storm are counting on Craig Bellamy choosing love over money following St George Illawarra’s massive bid to secure their successful NRL coach.

    Off contract at the end of the 2014 season, the Dragons are believed to have tabled Bellamy an offer worth $6 million over five years.

    The mastermind of the 2012 premiership, Bellamy has said he’s “50-50” about the possibility of leaving the club where he started his senior coaching career back in 2003 and he plans to make a decision on what’s likely to be his final coaching contract this month.

    “We know he’s looking elsewhere and he’s entitled to do that,” Storm chief executive Ron Gauci said on Wednesday.

    “We’re obviously keen to keep him and we’re negotiating to do that.”

    Gauci said that with two clubs vying for him the chances of keeping him were also 50-50, but he hoped that Bellamy’s strong emotional ties would prove too strong.

    Bellamy steered the club back to the 2012 title after the ignominy of losing their 2007 and 2009 titles for salary cap cheating, and he has a close bond with his players especially Storm superstars Cameron Smith and Billy Slater.

    Ryan Hoffman and Brett Finch both returned from England to play again under their mentor.

    “We’d like to think that the emotional ties that he has to the club and its players will weigh in his thoughts,” Gauci says.

    “If this is to be his last contract that he’ll consider where he’d like to finish his coaching days.

    “We’d like to think that weighs favourably our way as well.”

    Gauci said the Storm weren’t surprised by the reported size of the Dragons’ offer given Bellamy’s well-proven ability and standing in the game.

    They planned to do all they could to accommodate him in terms of money and contract length, with the 54-year-old feeling this deal could be his last.

    “We’re very keen to work with Craig’s requirements to keep him,” Gauci said.

    “He has the role for as long as he wants as long as I’m in the chair.”

    The Storm resume training in Melbourne on Thursday following a 10-day break, with representative players skipper Smith and Cooper Cronk to make their first official appearances at training.

    Slater has been granted leave to attend his sister’s wedding.

    Meanwhile, the club confirmed it will have a team compete in Harold Matthews (under 16) competition side for the first time in 2013.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (30)

    • January 3rd 2013 @ 7:47am
      Hez said | January 3rd 2013 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      Feel for Pricey but would love to have Bellamy at the dragons. Obvious player magnet.

    • January 3rd 2013 @ 7:56am
      Meesta Cool said | January 3rd 2013 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      With Bellamy comes a complete culture change.. are the Dragon’s up to that… they laid down again very quickly after Bennett! left.
      !.

      • January 3rd 2013 @ 1:18pm
        Ken said | January 3rd 2013 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

        Not sure that it was as straightforward as Bennett leaves and Dragons fall from grace. The Dragons last year (and possibly again this year) were in one of these salary-cap era ‘transitional periods’. A team has a good run, the cheap players in the team (young players and journeyman) are suddenly fielding bigger offers elsewhere, some experience and talent retires and suddenly the team to beat misses the finals. On top of that you lose a headline coach and the team are no longer contenders.

        Personally I don’t see Bellamy moving this year – the idea that he’d go in the middle of preseason just doesn’t wash. I can see why the offer made him pause though, a heap of money obviously, a chance to prove himself away from Smith, Slater & Cronk and the Dragons have a huge junior production line of talent to select from.

    • January 3rd 2013 @ 8:43am
      Novice said | January 3rd 2013 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      I dont understan the last contract statement.Bellamy is young enough to coach for another 10 or 15 years. Is he looking for early retirement? If so he must be getting paid extremley well by the Storm. So if it comes down to Money i think he will remain in Melbourne.

      • January 3rd 2013 @ 9:57am
        Ronald M said | January 3rd 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        With a potential contract worth 6mil for 5yrs work plus everything you earned previously, wouldn’t you consider retirement at 59 ?

        • January 3rd 2013 @ 11:34am
          Novice said | January 3rd 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

          Id retire on a 6th of that. Coaches are usually not just in it for the Money though, Not good ones anyway. They have a love of what they are doing. My point was just if it is for money to retire like you suggest then i think he will stay in Melb, but I know where i would rather live and retire.

          • January 3rd 2013 @ 2:34pm
            mushi said | January 3rd 2013 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

            then you’d be retiring on the equivalent of about 2/3s of the average annual salary in Australia

            • January 3rd 2013 @ 2:46pm
              Novice said | January 3rd 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

              How do you figure that ?
              i calculate it to be $40k a year at 4%

              • January 3rd 2013 @ 2:59pm
                Novice said | January 3rd 2013 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

                i was thinking lump sum but still $200k a year for 5 years, live on 50k invest 150k for the next 5, retire with a cool 3/4 mil at 4% = $30k a year before factoring in the interst earned. and
                with no mortgage plus the wifes pension sounds pretty good to me.

            • January 3rd 2013 @ 3:31pm
              mushi said | January 3rd 2013 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

              did you factor in the inflation of your annuity payment and that you’d get taxed 46.5% upfront?

              • January 3rd 2013 @ 4:01pm
                Jeff Cook said | January 3rd 2013 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

                A bit of accountants biffO, i love it when they have a go!

              • January 3rd 2013 @ 7:47pm
                MattRusty said | January 3rd 2013 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

                If it is all sitting in super and u are over 60 years of age then the rate of tax is 0%, not 46.5%.

                Google “independent financial advice”…

      • January 3rd 2013 @ 9:58am
        Morfs said | January 3rd 2013 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        I think he is either looking for early retirement and other roles (i.e. director of coaching, development officer, etc.), but I am fairly certain that Bellamy has stated previously he is looking at his next contract being his last. He is in his early 50s now, so his next contract should bring him close to 60. Not too early for a retirement, but if it’s what he wants to do, good on him.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 3rd 2013 @ 10:04am
          Hez said | January 3rd 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          I think his family are keen to head back to the South Coast.

          • January 3rd 2013 @ 12:09pm
            Doghouse said | January 3rd 2013 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

            Gee he has worked under intense pressure as a coach for many years and he seems a Type A personality so retiring at 59 seems fair enough…He has been invoved in football all his life and maybe he wants to do something else for a change…

    • Roar Guru

      January 3rd 2013 @ 6:48pm
      Richard said | January 3rd 2013 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

      I think Craig Bellamy is worth the money. Love is one thing, but the Storm should reward him handsomely. So too should the NRL. Craig Bellamy has done an enormous amount for the Storm, but he has been instrumental in making inroads in Melbourne for the rugby league code. He’s won the admiration of many of us previously rusted on AFL types. Let’s hope the Storm don’t ask Craig Bellamy to make any more unreasonable sacrifices. After what he’s done at Melbourne, that would be an insult indeed. Pay him the $6m.

      • January 3rd 2013 @ 6:58pm
        yewonk said | January 3rd 2013 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

        thats the point exactly richard but his employers are news limited and they wont pay him six million, and he should not stay just because he has a bond with players, i think he should leave and teach news a lesson.

        • Roar Guru

          January 3rd 2013 @ 7:03pm
          Richard said | January 3rd 2013 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

          I agree that News need to be taught a lesson yewonk. But I’d hate to do it at our expense. Isn’t that called “cutting off your nose to spite your face”?

          • January 4th 2013 @ 9:57am
            Stu said | January 4th 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

            Agreed. He has the opportunity of developing a legacy as a one club coach, much like he encouraged Cronk, Slater and Smith to do. I hope he walks to walk and doesn’t just talk the talk.

            Besides….

            Wollongong cafes and bars vs Melbourne cafes and bars. No contest.

            • January 4th 2013 @ 10:00am
              Pot Stirrer said | January 4th 2013 @ 10:00am | ! Report

              Stu, You would be right about the cafes and bars but mate the weather and life style of Wollongong vs Melbournere is a no contest of extreme proportions

              • January 4th 2013 @ 4:31pm
                Stu said | January 4th 2013 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

                True. What is it at the moment? 50 degrees? No doubt it will snow tomorrow.

    • January 4th 2013 @ 11:59am
      Pot Stirrer said | January 4th 2013 @ 11:59am | ! Report

      Is the Melb U/16 based in Melb ? if so does anybody know what percentage of players are Melbournian natives ? either way i think this is great news as it either means the game is developing in Vic really well or gives the juniors a good development path. Hope thier all not imported Kiwis.

    • January 4th 2013 @ 2:07pm
      Morfs said | January 4th 2013 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

      From what I’ve read, a fair portion of the team should be Victorian players, as the idea is to open a more direct pathway from the VRL junior teams through to the NRL. However, the actual make up of the team is yet to be announced. As to where it’s based, my guess is they’d be based in Melbourne but probably play in NSW?

      • January 4th 2013 @ 9:54pm
        Jeff Cook said | January 4th 2013 @ 9:54pm | ! Report

        This more of a open question than reply . Melbourne play Harold Matthews Cup(NSWRL), SG Ball (NSWRL), than i`m lost.
        What is the pathway the SG Ball player takes from here ? Is it through the NSWRL as i ca`nt see any affiliation . Or through
        the QRL ?

        • January 5th 2013 @ 10:31am
          Morfs said | January 5th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          After SG Ball, it’s the NYC team, and from there, the NRL.

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