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Melbourne Storm players BOOED when they heard Craig Bellamy wasn’t retiring from coaching

Melbourne has Andrew ‘Joey’ Johns to thank for signing Craig Bellamy for another season, with the head coach saying the former NRL star persuaded him to stay.

But the coaching brain has revealed that his players had a very brazen reaction when they heard he would stay with the club rather than retire.

The Storm announced Wednesday that Bellamy would be at the helm for an incredible 21st season in 2023.

But when CEO Justin Rodski told players that the notoriously tough taskmaster known as ‘Bellyache’ would return next season, they didn’t exactly cheer or clap.

“Everybody was good, there was a little bit of booing, but in the right spirit,” Bellamy told the daily telegraph.

The manager said Johns called him a few weeks ago while he was still deciding whether to stay on as manager or move into a part-time director of coaching role with the NRL club.

Bellamy (pictured center with Storm stars Jesse Bromwich, left, and Christian Welch, right) has led Melbourne to incredible success, but his players weren't exactly happy when they found out he's coming back in 2023.

Bellamy (pictured center with Storm stars Jesse Bromwich, left, and Christian Welch, right) has led Melbourne to incredible success, but his players weren’t exactly happy when they found out he’s coming back in 2023.

Bellamy has led the Storm to three grand final wins in his 20 years with the club and the team has hardly ever been out of contention for a title.

Bellamy has led the Storm to three grand final wins in his 20 years with the club and the team has hardly ever been out of contention for a title.

“It took a while to get there and there were some things that stalled the decision,” Bellamy said.

“I gave a bit of a corner when I had a conversation with Joey Johns – Andrew called me a couple of weeks ago and made a couple of points and it seemed to make a bit of sense to me and that made me change the way I decided to go. ‘

Bellamy didn’t want to lighten their conversation, but said he appreciated Johns’ input.

“I’ll leave that between me and Joey, but I appreciate that he called me and that was the main thing that turned me on.”

Johns then revealed what the pair talked about.

“I almost said you are crazy if you finish, you have a lot to offer,” said the Newcastle legend.

You talk about the best coaches in history and he is in the top three. What he has done with that club: the club has totally reinvented itself two or three times.

‘Other clubs lose champions and just get into a hole. When you talk about the best managers, he is in the argument as the best of all time.”

Knights legend Andrew Johns revealed that he told Bellamy he would be

Knights legend Andrew Johns revealed that he told Bellamy he would be “crazy” to give away training because he still has so much to offer the game.

The 63-year-old did not rule out training beyond 2023 and is under contract with the Storm through the end of 2026, but said he also wanted to spend more time with his four grandchildren.

“There are a couple of things I want to do before I get too old,” he said.

“We’ll see what happens in these 12 months and go from there.”

Since taking over as coach in 2003, Bellamy has led the team to nine major finals, winning five, though two were stripped for salary-cap cheating.

Storm CEO Justin Rodski said the club was delighted with Bellamy’s decision.

“There is no doubt that Craig is still at the top of the tree when it comes to rugby league coaching,” Rodski said.

“He continues to produce outstanding results week after week, season after season with the support of a very dedicated coach and a high-performing team.”

The Storm sit second on the NRL ladder after 10 rounds and are two points behind defending champions Penrith after losing their Magic Round matchup in Brisbane last week.

Former mentor Wayne Bennett welcomed Bellamy’s decision as he prepares to coach against him for the newcomer Dolphins next season.

‘I am pleased; if he’s still enjoying it and that’s what he wants to do, why would you back out?’ Bennett said.

The super manager will have his work cut out for him next year when Melbourne loses stars Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Brandon Smith, but he has a proven track record of keeping the team highly competitive despite big changes to the club's roster. .

The super manager will have his work cut out for him next year when Melbourne loses stars Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Brandon Smith, but he has a proven track record of keeping the team highly competitive despite big changes to the club’s roster. .

‘You don’t get less knowledge as we get older. The enthusiasm and passion for what you do has to remain, but you learn something every year.’

It’s a relief for Melbourne given that they will lose several veterans with captain Jesse Bromwich, his brother Kenny and agent Felise Kaufusi all heading to the Dolphins at the end of the year, while Brandon Smith heads to the Sydney Roosters.

Bellamy’s one-year deal could potentially affect the future of superstar playmaker Cameron Munster, who is out of contract at the end of 2023.

Heavily pursued by at least six clubs, he is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.

“I spoke to him a couple of times and obviously emphasized how interested the club is in keeping him for the long term,” Bellamy said of Munster.

“He has a decision to make … we don’t want any of those players to go, but the decision they make is the best one for them and their family.”

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