Bellamy silences Bulldogs speculation, may not coach beyond 2021

By Sports Desk June 19, 2020

Craig Bellamy has dismissed a report linking him with a move to Canterbury Bulldogs and revealed 2021 could be his last year as a head coach.

Media speculation suggested the Melbourne Storm coach had received a lucrative offer to take over at the Bulldogs, who have won just once in five outings this season, following talks.

However, speaking after the Storm's loss to Penrith Panthers on Friday, Bellamy shot down the story, insisting he had never had contact with anyone at Canterbury.

"I didn't read the story and I don't want to read the story because, at the end of the day, what's in there isn’t true," he said when asked about the rumour.

"Somebody told me that I had spoken to someone from the Bulldogs twice, when I haven't spoken to anyone from the Bulldogs. 

"I can honestly sit here and say I haven't spoken to the Bulldogs, I think they've said the same. At the end of the day, it irks me a little bit."

The Bulldogs - currently led by coach Dean Pay - had already put out a statement on Friday denying the report.

"I think it is important for our members and fans that we end any speculation around Craig Bellamy having been contacted by the Bulldogs," Canterbury chief executive Andrew Hill said.

Bellamy has a further season to run on his contract with the Storm but admits it may be nearing the time to step aside, albeit he is yet to make a final call on his future.

"I've got a contract with the Storm for next year so I'm not going to say what I'm going to do because I don’t quite know to be honest,"Bellamy told the media.

"I'm 62 [in 2021], so next year will probably be it for head coaching. Having said that, things change at times and I've said that before, but it's a young man’s game these days."

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    430 – Smith holds the record for most NRL games following a glittering career in the Australian competition, having debuted for the Storm in 2002. He is the only player to have amassed over 400 appearances.

    310 – He also holds the record for most wins in premiership matches. Of those victories, 242 were as skipper – the most as a captain.

    2,786 – No player has scored more points in NRL premiership history than the hooker, well ahead of Hazem El Masri (2,418) and Johnathan Thurston (2,222).

    1,295 – Smith stands alone for goals kicked in the NRL – 353 more than any other player in premiership history.

    16,913 – Not just an elite kicker, Smith tallied the most tackles by any player since the beginning of the NRL era in 1998.

    3 – Smith ends his NRL career with Premierships in 2012, 2017 and 2020. It could have been five, but the Storm were stripped of Grand Final triumphs in 2007 and 2009 due to salary-cap breaches.

    42 – A Maroons veteran, he is the most-capped player in State of Origin history. Smith first appeared for Queensland in 2003.

    56 – Smith represented Australia more than fifty times. Only Darren Lockyer (59) managed more than Smith for the Kangaroos.

    33 – Lockyer (38) is the only player to have captained Australia on more occasions than Smith, who led the country to Rugby League World Cup glory in 2013 and 2017.

    2 – Smith was crowned the NRL's best and fairest player in 2006 and 2017. Only Thurston (four) and Andrew Johns (three) earned more honours.

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