Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy. Theo Karanikos (SMP Images)

Bellamy can call the shots

HE loves the players and the culture at the Storm, and Craig Bellamy has the right to decide where he wants to coach once his contract with Melbourne expires at the end of the 2013 season.

That was the opinion yesterday of star fullback Billy Slater, who said he had no problem with whatever Bellamy decided.

The premiership-winning coach has been persistently linked with the Warriors, who are back to square one following Storm assistant David Kidwell's loss of patience and withdrawal of his interest in the top job on Tuesday.

"He (Bellamy) has done so much for the club and for me as an individual, but we fully respect his decision whatever he comes up with," Slater said.

"We saw Cooper (Cronk) do it (re-negotiate a contract) this year and it will be a tough decision. At the end of the day he will do what is best for Craig Bellamy and we respect that."

Kidwell had been an odds-on favourite to lead the Warriors but reportedly became concerned about the fact there was less than a month before pre-season training was due to start.

It seems likely the Warriors hierarchy has been looking for someone prepared to take the role for 12 months until Bellamy's contract expires at the Storm.

With Kidwell, Stephen Kearney and Sharks coach Shane Flanagan knocking back the Warriors job, attention will turn to assistant New Zealand coach Tony Iro, dumped Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens and former Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith.

Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said yesterday that he was not prepared to discuss who the club was targeting, but said a decision would be made within days.