Warriors to name coach soon - not Bellamy

GLENN JACKSON AND STEVE MASCORD
Last updated 09:49 11/10/2012
Craig Bellamy
BRENDAN ESPOSITO/Fairfax Australia
STAYING PUT: Craig Bellamy is expected to announce this afternoon he will stay with Storm.

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The new Warriors coach is set to be named within days, and may ultimately know exactly how Steven Bradbury felt, given the number of candidates who have fallen before him.

Premiership-winning coach Craig Bellamy will not break his contract with Melbourne to join the Warriors next year, despite the Auckland-based club offering him more than $A1 million ($NZ1.25 million) a season to do so. That much is now clear.

And with the Warriors likely to appoint a coach for more than one season, it is now highly unlikely that Bellamy will switch to the club in 2014, despite recent speculation otherwise. Who will switch is set to be revealed soon.

Chief executive Wayne Scurrah said he expected to announce an appointment ''within the next week''. The Sydney Morning Herald understands it is likely to occur by the end of this week. ''I can't name a day but we're not far away,'' Scurrah said.

That is despite the withdrawals of David Kidwell and Stephen Kearney recently. Kidwell, Bellamy's assistant, is understood to have grown frustrated by the protracted delays in the Warriors finalising a deal.

Bellamy remains the subject of interest from other NRL clubs - one of which is believed to be St George Illawarra - even if it appears more likely he will remain at Melbourne. The Warriors had been keen to entice Bellamy away from Melbourne a year before his contract was due to end. But Bellamy, who has coached the Storm since 2003, did not consider that option, even though he remains undecided about where he will coach from 2014.

On Sunday, Bellamy is due to depart on a fact-finding tour of Europe, and it is highly unlikely a decision will be made before he leaves. His agent, John Fordham, said leaving the Storm early had never been a consideration.

''There's never been any discussion whatsoever with Melbourne Storm about not being there in 2013,'' Fordham said. ''It's never been discussed.

''Unlike some people in the game, we honour contracts.''

Billy Slater joined Melbourne teammates in saying Bellamy had earned the right to move on in 2014 if that was his choice.

''For starters, he's there next year,'' he said. ''We never look too far down the track as a club. Other than that, everyone goes through contract negotiations - whether you're a player or a coach.

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''Craig's done so much, not just for us a club but me as an individual as well. We fully respect his decision no matter what he comes up with.''

- Sydney Morning Herald

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