Bellamy wants future decided before season start
Off-contract Storm coach Craig Bellamy is hoping to make a call on his future beyond the 2016 season before his team kicks off their campaign against the St George Illawarra Dragons on March 7.
With his contract set to expire at season's end, Bellamy has an option in his favour to extend his coaching career a further two seasons up until 2018.
Upon signing his last deal in 2014 Bellamy hinted at retiring all together from coaching, but now appears to be contemplating another couple of years at the helm of the Storm – a post he has held since 2003.
"I'd like [my future] to be decided [before the season starts] to be quite honest but we'll see what happens. You'd like to be heading into the season without too many distractions; whether it's a distraction or not I'm not quite sure," Bellamy said after Melbourne's 20-0 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday.
"I haven't thought about it too much. I just want to get through the trials and see where I'm at and go from there. We have a couple of weeks off now so hopefully I can sit down, have a think and go from there."
Apart from his own future, the other question Bellamy has been hammered with of late is the fitness of Queensland and Kangaroos fullback Billy Slater.
Having not sported a Storm jersey since before State of Origin II last year, Slater remains a 50-50 prospect to start against the Dragons according to Bellamy.
His usual replacement Cameron Munster remains a chance to play as well after injuring his knee at the Auckland Nines.
"We have two and a half weeks now before the season starts so hopefully he'll be back. Hopefully Cameron Munster might come into the picture as well so hopefully we have both our fullbacks back," Bellamy said.
"We didn't really have a fullback [against the Bulldogs], the guys we had out there in Curtis Scott and Tony Tumusa are wingers or centres so it was a tough night for those blokes.
"Hopefully we get Billy back. But as we say we're not going to rush anything in Round 1 so we'll see how they go next week."
On the Storm's loss to the Bulldogs, Bellamy was a mixed bag of emotion – disappointed with his team's ball control but otherwise pleased with their defence.
"I thought our defence was outstanding with the amount of pressure we put on ourselves but we were certainly very, very embarrassed about our performance with the footy," he said.
"It's something we need to look at. We had the top completions in the competition last year, but the last two weeks we have completed at 50 per cent. You aren't going to win many games like that."