Carey joins Crows for first session - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carey joins Crows for first session

By Chris Lines 19/11/2002 06:48:39 PM Comments (0)

After eight months of trying to escape his off-field exploits, Wayne Carey felt like a footballer again when he joined his new Adelaide Crows teammates at training.

Carey joined Adelaide's first pre-season team session at West Lakes, finally able to focus his mind on 2003 and not the 2002 that nearly ended his career, his marriage, and - as his manager feared - his will to go on.

But it was an easy first step for `The King', who was allowed to perform some indoor weights while most of his teammates sweated out a gut-busting time trial before joining them in some lighter skill drills.

"He's already done some time trials and bits and pieces before, so all that's under control," Adelaide football manager John Reid said.

"It's in line with what we do with some of our older guys, we just ease them into the training period.

"He's started doing an indoor program and some ball work."

Reid said Carey, 31, should be doing full training within three weeks.

Defenders Mark Bickley (broken and infected leg), Nigel Smart and Ben Hart were also excused from the time trial, but the absence of captain Mark Ricciuto was more of a concern.

Ricciuto had a badly swollen ankle after a recent run, and it was thought he had a bone chip that would force him to miss at least a fortnight of pre-season training.

Fellow recruits Ronnie Burns, 29, and Jason Torney, 25, were also welcomed into the fold, with coach Gary Ayres hoping the trio - although advancing in years - can lift the team from fourth in 2002 to the premiership in 2003.

"He would have been probably a little bit toey about coming here for the first time today, and having been where he's been for so long, but he'd be pretty pleased now that he's actually been able to touch the footy and get the first session out of the way," Ayres said.

"He's been doing a fair bit of work, we've had him here for nearly a month now, he's been sticking to a program and he's done it pretty well.

"We know they're match-winners, given the right sort of circumstances.

"The age factor? Well, Ronnie didn't really start playing football at AFL level until he was 23, and Wayne - the circumstances in which he finds himself here very much should be put in the past because this is a new start for him.

"Jason's a 118-game player who's probably had his best three or four years at Richmond, so he's established himself as a pretty consistent player."

Former Kangaroos captain Carey quit the club before the 2002 season began after having an affair with the wife of former close mate and vice-captain Anthony Stevens.

He was recruited by Adelaide in a swap deal that saw Crows premiership wingman Kane Johnson go to Richmond and the three clubs exchange draft picks.

He had spent much of the year trying to repair his fractured marriage in his hometown of Wagga, interspersed with some overseas travel.

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