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"Don't leave me Bellyache, don't leave me!"

Leave it to Cameron Smith to break some of the tension during Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy's press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Usually, Bellamy's media calls include three or four local journalists, a couple of cameras, and a dash of dry wit.

But after news broke that the Brisbane Broncos were in discussions with the long-serving Storm mentor, most of the Melbourne sporting media had lined up to ask him about his future.

One Victorian paper even had their back page carrying a Bellamy story on Wednesday. It just doesn't happen in AFL heartland.

The Storm coach retained his sense of humour - and his cool - throughout a series of questions.

One thing was clear: Bellamy will take his time over a contract decision. But that didn't stop a hungry pack from trying to get a glimpse into his thought process. 

Would the Broncos get rid of Bennett for Bellamy?

"There's a whole heap of things to go through - not just dollar signs," he said.

"I just need to go through that ... very clear in what I want to do. Because you guys are tracking me down here, and I'm probably getting tracked for the next couple of days, at the end of the day I'm not going to make a decision to keep you guys off my back.

I'm going to make a decision that's right for myself, family and the players."

Bellamy admitted he had delayed contract discussions with the Storm because of the club's busy schedule over the past month.

But Storm bosses haven't given him a deadline either.

"That's one thing I'm really grateful for," he said.

"The lateness of the contract - getting tabled and actually talking to the Storm - was put back by me. There were a few issues earlier.

"I understand now why I always liked to get this stuff done before the season started. But unfortunately, this year couldn't be done. I think they understood too; I have a job to do with the team, for the players, and for our coaching staff too.

"It's been a real hectic three weeks with travel and a short turnaround. I wasn't going to not do my job for the team, by going through the pros and cons [during this time]."

As reported previously, Test five-eighth Cameron Munster has said he wanted to hear of his coach's movements for next season before deciding if he will remain with the Storm.

But the coach doesn't feel he needs to explain his decision to the playing group.

"I don't think I have to talk to the group and tell them my thought processes are," he said. 

Bennett won't work with Bellamy

"They all understand, they've been through negotiations as well. There are things you've got to work out for yourself, and things that some people would see as important that others might not."

A gap year was raised as a possibility.

"It could be refreshing to go and have a look at other organisations, and pick up some things," Bellamy said.

"But having said that, having a year off, the game evolves very quickly, and sometimes you might lose a bit of touch as well."

Part-time consultant, executive coach or coaching mentor: the 58-year-old might be more comfortable catching the sun and spending time with his family.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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