Bellamy off limits for Warriors, Sheens a shot
GREG PRICHARD AND ADRIAN PROSZENKO
The chief executive of Melbourne, Ron Gauci, said last night there was no chance that Craig Bellamy would be coaching anywhere but at the Storm next year.
Bellamy's future is a hot topic following the sacking by Sydney Roosters of Brian Smith as coach on Wednesday. The Roosters had originally targeted Bellamy for 2014, but now they have a difficult decision to make with their coaching job vacant for next season.
Do they appoint someone long-term now, or do they put in a stop-gap coach and gamble on getting Bellamy for 2014? The perfect solution for them would be if Bellamy were to suddenly become free next year, and you wouldn't blame them for at least hoping that will happen.
Canterbury got Des Hasler a year earlier than expected. They originally signed Hasler for next season, but his difficult relationship with the Manly board led to a split at the end of last season and Hasler began work at the Bulldogs this year, with great results.
But there is no problem with the working relationship between Bellamy and the Melbourne management - and there certainly doesn't appear to be any other reason the Storm would let him go. In fact, they would love to extend his deal whenever Bellamy likes.
''Craig is contracted to the Storm until the end of next season, and he has no intention of breaking that contract,'' Gauci said. ''And neither do we. Craig wants to stay, and we want him to stay. I've made it very clear that he has a job here for as long as he wants it.
''We would like to sign him beyond 2013, if and when Craig is ready to do that.''
Asked if he had felt compelled to discuss the future with Bellamy following developments at the Roosters, on top of the Warriors having already put out feelers for Bellamy for 2014, Gauci said it wasn't necessary.
''That's the problem when one club has got a vacancy and another club has the best coach in the competition - the coach is in demand,'' he said. ''But it's not an issue here. Craig and I had that conversation a long time ago, and we respect each other's opinions. We'll leave further discussions on the future until the appropriate time.
''Craig wants to coach in the finals and get on with that without any distractions. We've always said that when he wants to talk, we'll talk. He knows we want him. I'm not surprised other clubs want him as well.''
The former Roosters assistant coach Trent Robinson is also a major possibility for the job at the Roosters. He is coaching Catalans Dragons in the Super League, and they are headed for the finals as well.
The Roosters might have to wait to seriously negotiate with Robinson for next year, if he becomes their main target. Jason Taylor, who is coaching the under-20s at the Roosters, remains a possibility for the first-grade job as well.
Meanwhile, it is possible the Wests Tigers coach, Tim Sheens, could make a shock switch to the Warriors next season. Sheens is contracted to the Tigers until the end of 2014, but the club would consider releasing him if he wished.
Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys addressed rumours Sheens was on the way out. ''Tim is our head coach, we continue to believe that he's the best man for the job and that's really the end of it,'' Humphreys told Ten Network's The Game Plan program last night.
''The fact that we didn't meet expectations this year is something we need to take stock of. But rather than apportion blame and find someone to shoot to make us feel better, we're not going to take that path.''
- Sydney Morning Herald
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