Bellamy open to idea of year off if he becomes Broncos coach
Craig Bellamy would consider taking a sabbatical if he decided to leave the Victorian capital and look elsewhere for another NRL coaching role.
NRL.com understands the 59-year-old has been given no deadline by the Storm or the Brisbane Broncos – the other club that has publicly announced interest in the two-time premiership winner – on making a decision about his next career move.
Bellamy, off contract at season's end, is weighing up a three-year offer from Melbourne but the Storm have ruled out giving him a one-year extension, which would open the door for him to replace Wayne Bennett when the Broncos mentor's deal runs out at the end of next year.
It's understood a second NRL club was interested in Bellamy for the 2019 season and beyond, but they have withdrawn their interest.
Bellamy is due to fly with his Storm players to Townsville later Wednesday for the round 12 match against the Cowboys.
After that match Bellamy intends to sit down and have a good think about where he will be coaching next year. His son Aaron works in the Storm football department and has two young children. Bellamy's daughter Rachel has now moved back to the Gold Coast after recently living in Melbourne.
Speaking to the media in Melbourne before flying to Townsville, he said: "I haven't been made an offer from Brisbane. I sat down with [Broncos CEO] Paul White and that's as far as it went. At the moment I've got an offer on the table from the Storm and that's been there for a couple of weeks.
"Because of our program with turnarounds and travel, I haven't had the time I need to make some sort of decision.
"I don't think the Storm is going to sign me up for one year. If I do move on it will be at the end of this year.
"I've never had a year off. You could look at it in two ways. It could be refreshing and you can go and have a look at other organisations and pick up some things. We usually do that for two weeks at the end of the year. Having said that, having a year off sometimes the game evolves very quickly and you could lose some touch.
"The first thing I'll be doing is deciding on what I'll do with Melbourne. The Storm offer has been there but I haven't had time to give it much thought. We have a week off after this weekend so hopefully I'll give it some thought."
NRL.com also understands Bellamy has not held any team meetings with Storm players about his future.
Test five-eighth Cameron Munster has said he wanted to hear his coach's movements for next season before deciding if he will remain with Storm.
Another key player off contract is skipper Cameron Smith. But Bellamy told NRL.com in February that the two have never discussed retiring or moving onto another club together.
Bellamy has always maintained that while he has a very close relationship with Smith, the two will make their own career decisions separately.
"I've been here 16 years and have had some wonderful times and tough times. When I sit down with thought processes it will be what's best for me and my family and the footy club," he said.
"It's like a family in itself. There are things to think about. Hopefully, in the next week or two I can get some time I need. I really haven't spoken to [family] about what they would like to do.
"I did eye off next week because we have a week off. That's not saying I'll have a decision next week either. It's not just the dollar signs, there's a whole heap of other things too."
He claimed there had been "some falseness to the whole story" as it has been reported.
"I'm disappointed that that is being said [about money] but our game is quite famous for things getting out. Not much stays a secret.
"To any decision there are always pros and cons and to be honest I need to write that down, it will make it clearer in my head."
When asked about his relationship with Bennett, he said he was assured the Brisbane coach was aware of his discussions with Broncos management.
"The last thing I want to be is disrespectful to Wayne. He's coaching his 800th game, that's unbelievable," he said.
"Before I had my chat I was made sure he knew about the chat. I'm sure me and Wayne will catch up about some things at some stage."