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Todd Carney hopes to play in NRL in 2009

By Philip Henderson 08/08/2008 04:53:54 PM Comments (0)

Sacked Canberra halfback Todd Carney is refusing to give up hope of playing in the NRL next season despite David Gallop insisting the fallen Raiders star would be de-registered from the competition until 2010.

Carney's manager David Riolo said he had already begun investigating options to keep his client in the NRL in 2009 while slamming the league for trying to make the 22-year-old "unemployable" in Australia.

"I don't think it's right, he's been sacked from his club but I don't see why they should make him unemployable in Australia," Riolo said on Friday.

"I thought the NRL would be trying to keep quality players and work with players in our game, rather than sending them out to Siberia on penance.

"If you're sacked from any job, you're not being made unemployable in the whole industry and he hasn't committed a crime.

"Canberra has chosen to sack him and that's their prerogative and they've got grounds to do that under the playing contract between Todd and the club.

"But that shouldn't really, to me, have anything to do with him being employed by anybody else."

Carney had his $1.6 million four-year deal with the Raiders torn up on Thursday after the latest of a string of alcohol-related off-field misdemeanours.

NRL chief executive Gallop confirmed soon after that the league would refuse to register the halfback until 2010.

"The NRL are saying they won't register his contract, but I don't know if that's really fair," Riolo told AAP.

"We'll have to look at our options there."

Asked could that include legal action, Riolo said: "I'll be looking in to that, but again we don't want to get into a legal situation.

"That probably wouldn't help the NRL or Todd or anyone, but I wouldn't mind to clarify on what ground he would be de-registered."

Riolo said he had spoken to Rugby League Players Association president Matthew Rodwell about the issue and expected Carney to have the support of the players' union.

Rodwell also claimed the NRL may have gone too far by de-registering the representative halfback.

"I would assume the sacking was punishment enough," Rodwell told ABC Online.

The NRL, though, had the full backing of the Raiders.

"Without a doubt the club did not want to see (Carney) playing against us in 2009," club chief executive Don Furner said.

Riolo said he had already spoken to several clubs both in Australia and in the UK Super League about Carney, but admitted with most clubs close to finalising their lists and budget for 2009, "we'll just have to see what crops up".

Canberra are in something of a similar position as they try to find a marquee player to fill the $400,000 gap left in their salary cap.

The club may yet play with an under-budget squad for 2009, putting faith in rookie halfback Marc Herbert and under-20s playmakers Mick Picker and Matt Smith.

Furner, however, hinted they could yet make a play for former Raider and Manly playmaker Michael Monaghan, currently in the first year of a four-year deal with English club Warrington.

Monaghan's brother Joel re-joined the Raiders this season.

"Well before all of this I was talking to (Monaghan's) mother and father at games and jokingly saying it would be great to see Michael playing alongside Joel," the Raiders CEO told Sydney radio 2KY.

"At that time he was homesick and we joked about it with them.

"I haven't discussed it with a coaching staff but that could be a possibility."

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