Carney signs off with Atherton Roosters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carney signs off with Atherton Roosters

By Laine Clark 21/09/2009 07:40:39 PM Comments (0)

In the past, the sight of Todd Carney with a beer in hand would usually sound alarm bells.

But Atherton Roosters president Mick Nasser said the former NRL bad boy had earned "a few cold ones" on Mad Monday after resurrecting their far north Queensland club - oh, and Carney's life.

Carney officially ended his unlikely playing stint in the Cairns District Rugby League on Sunday when he just fell short of leading the Roosters to their first premiership since 1994.

Despite Carney scoring two tries and laying on another, the Roosters lost 30-18 to Cairns Brothers in the grand final.

But Nasser reckons Carney earned something much more valuable than a premiership medal during his unexpected stay.

"He's got a shot at redemption," Nasser told AAP.

"We didn't know what we were going to get when he got here, and he certainly didn't know what to expect - he hadn't even heard of Atherton.

"But he'll shed a tear when he leaves, I reckon."

Cynics tipped Carney's Atherton stint to end in tears when he arrived earlier this year.

Despite being sacked by the Canberra Raiders and de-registered by the NRL for alcohol-related indiscretions, Carney was put to work by Nasser at an Atherton pub after surprisingly agreeing to play in the Cairns league.

He also called the Barron Valley Hotel home.

It may have been tempting fate, but Carney kept his nose clean as NRL clubs watched.

The arrival of mother Leanne - who also lived and worked at the pub - was also a steadying influence.

Carney reckons when he leaves Atherton after the Roosters presentation night "in a couple of weeks" he will be a changed man.

"Atherton is a fair way away from most things, especially when you don't have a (driver's) licence," Carney told ABC Radio.

"It was tough at times but I knew from day one when I was going there that I was never going to improve my football because it (the local league) wasn't a higher standard.

"But I knew I could improve my image and get myself back on track - I feel I have done that."

Nasser said Carney had also given the club a new lease on life.

"In February we had nine players for two grades and no coach," he said.

"Now we are minor premiers and got pipped in the grand final, that's not a bad turnaround I reckon."

His comeback complete, Carney will take a short holiday before linking with his new NRL club, the Sydney Roosters.

"This year has made me sit back and realise what I have missed out on and where I want to be," Carney said.

"My first game for the (Sydney) Roosters I am taking it as my debut again and starting from scratch, try and achieve the things I set out to achieve when I was playing for Canberra."

But Nasser said Atherton had not seen the last of Carney.

"He wants to come back at the end of his career - I think there is some unfinished business here for him," he said.

"He and his manager have also been trying to get fringe NRL players or blokes nearing the end of their NRL career to come and play for us."

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