Bellamy's influence felt by all at Storm

Players have spoken in glowing terms about Craig Bellamy who re-signed as Storm coach until 2026.
Players have spoken in glowing terms about Craig Bellamy who re-signed as Storm coach until 2026.

A day after inking a five-year deal to keep him at Melbourne to the end of 2026, Storm players have spoken of the influence, character and longstanding impact coach Craig Bellamy has brought to the club.

Bellamy, a three-time premiership-winning coach, has shared an unprecedented amount of success at the Storm since 2003, maintaining the franchise as a powerhouse of the NRL during his tenure.

For a player like Reimis Smith, who only joined the Storm this season, it was cause to celebrate when Bellamy announced he was staying.

"It's been unreal. The lads got around him when he announced it, everyone was ecstatic, we were clapping and laughing," he said on Wednesday.

"To be able to put it behind us now knowing he is going to stay - everyone is happy, the coaching staff are happy because he has done so much for my footy."

"The thing that stands out for me is accountability. He makes us accountable for our actions and that makes us work harder and you know going into the next game you have to do it."

One insightful perspective from Smith was the demeanour of his coach, and how television illustrations may not accurately convey the type of man Bellamy is.

"He's actually more understanding than a lot of coaches would be. He likes to help you," he said.

"He's not what you see on TV. He's really genuine and wants you to be better. He'll whip you a bit and make you work harder than you usually would, but he has been so influential in my career.

"I have been here 20 weeks now and my game has flourished under him."

For outgoing winger Josh Addo-Carr, who will join Canterbury at season's end, Bellamy's tutelage and influence can be felt from top to bottom at the club.

"He's more than the father figure to everyone in the side and everyone respects what he says and whatever he says goes," Addo-Carr said.

"The club has been built on the old boys where they've set a standard, and the standard hasn't been dropped throughout the years.

"Craig connects with everyone ... and he's also the brains of the side.

"We've had a really good year so far ... and it's an absolute pleasure to be a part of this side."

Australian Associated Press