Craig Bellamy has announced he will continue as coach of the Melbourne Storm through to the end of the 2018 season.
The new deal will see the 57-year-old extend his current tenure in Melbourne to 16 seasons in charge, and will elevate him to number four on the list of most first-grade games coached behind Wayne Bennett, Tim Sheens and Brian Smith.
Melbourne Storm chairman Bart Campbell was thrilled to have Bellamy put pen to paper on the new deal.
"He's a huge part of the furniture here, and has a tremendous win record of 66 per cent. He's much more than those statistics to this organisation though, he really is the heart and soul of the club," Campbell said.
While Bellamy mulled over this decision throughout the entire pre-season, he said he just needed to make sure the decision he made was the right one.
"It wasn't a hard decision to make, but I wanted to be sure that I still had the hunger and the passion to go on with the job," Bellamy said.
"During the pre-season, and when the two trials came around, I had butterflies in my stomach before the game, so I still knew I had that hunger.
"It's been a really, really big part of my life for the last 14 years. There's been some ups and downs, but that's how it is in life.
"There's no other place I'd really want to coach at."
This deal cements Bellamy's name amongst some of the best coaches of the modern era, with the Storm qualifying for 12 of the past 13 finals series – a level of consistency many clubs can only dream of.
"One thing we always have been here is consistent, that's one trait that I treasure as a coach, and I want from my players and I want from the club," Bellamy said.
A major factor contributing to Melbourne's success is the 'big three' with Cam Smith, Cooper Cronk, and Billy Slater always at the forefront of the team's triumphs.
With star trio Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater also poised to continue at the club beyond this season, Bellamy admitted said continuing the dynasty alongside those players was a factor in his decision to sign the new contract.
"I think it was a little part of it. The relationship is still really strong [after 14 years]. I enjoy coaching those guys, but the big thing that I'm so proud of those players is not only are they good players, but they're good people," Bellamy said.
"I'd like to see myself continue my relationship with those guys, because they are special, and I don't know if we'll ever see three players like this again, in the positions that they play, at the one club, at the one time," said Bellamy.
Bellamy's decision leaves only Cooper Cronk as the final big name that the Storm needs to lock away for next couple of seasons.
Bellamy hoped sticking around the club would be a factor in the star halfback's decision to re-sign for Melbourne.
"Cooper's his own man, and everyone these days makes a decision that's best for them and their families… but hopefully it does play a part with me staying," Bellamy said.
"Purple is in my blood, I've been here that long, and the relationships I've formed with people who have been involved in the club have been very special."