Bellamy told the Weekend Australian he was in no rush to make a call on his next move and the health of his wife Wendy was now his top priority.
‘We can confirm meetings have been ongoing between the Sharks, Craig Bellamy and his advisors.’
Dino Mezzatesta, Sharks CEO
“I haven’t even thought about it yet because of the situation we are in,” he said. “Until I can sit down with [Wendy] and talk about [my future] there will be no decision.
“I suppose people will want an answer, but it’s not a priority at the moment. It’s way down the list to be honest.”
According to The Sunday Telegraph on Saturday night, Bellamy and Cronulla had been in private talks for six months, with Bellamy saying: “There’s a Sydney club, but I can’t name them. They’ve done a really good job to keep it secret. I’ve been talking to them for as long as the Broncos offer has been there. It’s a serious option.”
Those close to Bellamy had no idea about the talks with Cronulla and only a select few at the Sharks knew about the audacious bid. Others were convinced Bellamy would simply not enjoy Sydney life.
Bellamy won the 2012, 2017 and 2020 premierships along with the 2007 and 2009 grand finals, but the latter titles were stripped from the club. He missed out on the Canberra coaching job to Matt Elliott in 2002, about the same time there was interest from Wests Tigers, before he started at the Storm in 2003.
One coach whose name is continually linked to the Sharks is Sydney Roosters assistant Craig Fitzgibbon, a rookie head coach who would benefit from working alongside a professional like Bellamy.
Bellamy’s presence at Cronulla would make it easier for the club to attract players and sponsors. Current coach John Morris is off contract at the end of this season and, aged 40, would relish having Bellamy in his corner.
Morris made it known this week he was keen to stay on and was focused on trying to get the Sharks to a third straight NRL finals series. Morris has plenty of supporters. Recruit Cameron McInnes certainly wants the coach to remain at the helm, saying: “He knows what it is like to be a player and to be at the top level for so long so I am looking forward to working with him”.
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Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.