Not just NRL clubs head-hunting Carney - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Not just NRL clubs head-hunting Carney

By Laine Clark 26/03/2009 06:23:46 PM Comments (0)

It seems NRL clubs aren't the only ones head-hunting sacked star Todd Carney.

His new club in the Cairns league - the Atherton Roosters - have expressed concerns for Carney's safety after the former Canberra playmaker copped heavy treatment on debut.

As the Sydney Roosters denied reports they had secured Carney on a four-year deal from 2010, their Atherton namesakes wondered how long they would keep their prized No.7 if his torrid Cairns league baptism continued.

The man who threw Carney a league lifeline - Atherton Roosters president Mick Nasser - said officials would need to monitor the "rough stuff" dished out to the ex-Raiders matchwinner.

Nasser said Carney copped several head high tackles on debut, a 32-16 win over Southern Suburbs on March 14.

Carney lines up for his second game for the Roosters - against Cairns team Ivanhoes at Atherton on Saturday night - after last weekend's bye.

"There were a few head high attempts, a couple connected," Nasser told AAP when asked about Carney's Cairns league debut.

"Luckily he came out of it without a broken jaw.

"He (Carney) said it is all part of the game, he was expecting it.

"But they (Cairns officials) are going to have to watch for it.

"No one wants to see him taken out of the game.

"(But) the referees are mindful of it.

"And I am confident our forward pack is up to the task of (protecting him more)."

Nasser said he had spoken to Carney about reports linking him with the Sydney Roosters and walked away believing no deal had been struck.

Penrith and St George-Illawarra are also believed to be keen to lure him.

"I think he is far from it (deciding his future)," Nasser said.

"There are a few NRL clubs talking to him but I don't know who the frontrunners are - it's early days at the moment as far as he is concerned."

Carney was forced to move to far north Queensland after being sacked by Canberra midway last year following a string of alcohol-related incidents.

As part of the one-year Atherton Roosters deal, Carney lives and works at Nasser's Barron Valley Hotel.

Nasser said Carney was "loving it" at his new Atherton home.

"He's working hard, up to 45 hours a week," he said.

"When he is not working he is training or helping out with our juniors.

"He's got a long road ahead of him but he is settling in well."

Nasser said the Atherton community were "very protective" of Carney.

"Every time he is mentioned in the paper he is either an NRL bad boy or they are bagging him," he said.

"He knows he can sometimes be easily led on the alcohol but everyone is mindful of that and very protective of him.

"We are confident he will get through the year (without incident)."

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