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Bellamy coaching decision close, say Storm
Joe Barton and Melissa Woods
11:53 AEST Thu Jan 17 2013

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy and chief executive Ron Gauci insist the premiership-winning mentor hasn't made a decision on his future.

Despite reports the former NSW Origin coach had snubbed a massive offer from NRL rivals St George Illawarra and informed the Storm of his desire to re-sign, Bellamy released a statement through his management on Thursday to reiterate his position.

Retaining Bellamy is seen as crucial to the future of the Storm, because of his work in rebuilding the club following the salary cap drama in 2010 which threatened to tear the team apart.

The Storm were stripped of two premierships and were forced to shed players before the 2011 season, but Bellamy kept his star trio of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk together before delivering a grand final win in 2012.

When quizzed on Thursday, Gauci said there had been no signing, while Bellamy said he planned on having further discussions later in the week before making a final call on where he will coach from 2014 onwards.

"I have not given any undertaking or made any pledge to anyone," Bellamy said in a statement.

"I am in constant contact with my management and with my financial and legal advisers.

"We are scheduling further discussions in the coming week.

"Hopefully, a decision is not that far off."

Bellamy's indecision is not having a negative affect on the team's pre-season, with star halfback Cooper Cronk saying the players weren't concerned by the ongoing reports.

Cronk, who experienced similar speculation last year before he signed a new four-year deal with the Storm, said Bellamy had yet to inform the players of his plans.

Last season Cronk was strongly linked to the Gold Coast Titans and also the Dragons, who are believed to have tabled a $5 million offer to Bellamy.

But he refused to be drawn on the reports, believing Bellamy will tell the players as soon as his mind is made up.

"I think they're just reports," Cronk told reporters on Thursday.

"I was in a very similar position this time last year and speculation is pure speculation.

"My relationship with Craig is one based on respect and honesty and I'm sure he'll inform me, like he will inform everyone else in due course when he's made a decision.

"I'm very comfortable with Craig's situation."

Bellamy has consistently said he wants to have his future settled before Melbourne sets off for the World Club Challenge against Leeds in England on February 12.


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