Carney comeback may hit snag - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carney comeback may hit snag

By Laine Clark 05/03/2009 01:24:05 PM Comments (0)

Concerns over Todd Carney working at a hotel threaten to derail the sacked NRL star's bid to revive his rugby league career.

The Atherton Roosters - who play in the Cairns competition - appeared to have pulled off one of bush footy's biggest coups by signing the ex-Canberra playmaker for this season.

But Carney's former NRL club may decide to stand in the way when they meet to discuss the player's fate on Friday after hearing details of the deal.

Carney will live and work at Atherton's Barron Valley Hotel run by Roosters president Mick Nasser.

Carney was sensationally dumped by Canberra and deregistered by the NRL last August following a string of alcohol-related indiscretions.

Giving up alcohol was one of the conditions Canberra placed on Carney to save his career after he urinated on a pub patron last July, but he refused.

Raiders chairman John McIntyre was concerned that Carney would be surrounded by alcohol at Atherton.

"I see that is going to be an enormous test for his `won't' power rather than his `will' power," McIntyre told AAP.

"One of the points that we made was getting him off the drink, and he wasn't prepared to take that up.

"It is going to be a severe test of his mettle to withstand it when it is all around you - and away from home."

Carney's Queensland Rugby League contract with Atherton can't be registered until it is cleared by Canberra and the NRL.

While NRL boss David Gallop has already approved the comeback, McIntyre would not comment on Wednesday.

"I have my views on it but there is a board meeting on Friday morning and we will reserve any comment until after that," he said.

However, ex-Canberra teammate and current Northern Pride Queensland Cup coach Andrew Dunemann said the Atherton deal was just what his good friend Carney needed.

But Dunemann said the Roosters had an obligation to ensure Carney kept his nose clean.

"The people around him have a responsibility. He's a great kid but when he gets on the drink he is like most of us, we do things we probably normally would not do," he told AAP.

"And the people around him have a responsibility to help him through that - but I think this would be great for him."

Dunemann said, if cleared, Carney would realise he had a target on his head at Atherton.

"He will go up there under no illusions people will be looking at him after what he has done - but he knows he has to toe the line and I am sure he will," he said.

"But I don't think it (his past) will be a problem. I don't think people up north are like that."

Dunemann's Northern Pride team are a feeder outfit for Canberra's NRL rivals North Queensland - another of the Raiders' concerns.

But Dunemann said he had no plans to try and recruit Carney for the Cowboys for 2010.

"There's nothing underhanded going on," he said.

"It hasn't crossed my mind.

"Obviously a player of his ability would be nice to have but I am pretty happy with the squad that I have."

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