Carney closes in on Roosters' debut - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carney closes in on Roosters' debut

By Ian McCullough 09/02/2010 07:23:49 PM Comments (0)

Off the drink and off the road, controversial playmaker Todd Carney is determined to steer clear of trouble in his return to the NRL with Sydney Roosters this season.

Carney has not tasted any first-grade action since being sacked by Canberra in August 2008 following a series of alcohol-related incidents that also saw him banned from driving for five years.

The 22-year-old, who signed for the Roosters late last year, has been warned by his new club and NRL chief David Gallop that any further indiscretions will see him lose his four-year contract.

And to ensure he takes full advantage of his seat in the last-chance saloon, Carney has even opted to stop drinking.

"Obviously a lot has gone on, and I feel I am different person, I haven't had a beer since New Year's, which is pretty big for me," Carney said.

"It's an ongoing process, it's not going to be made public how long for, I have sat down with the club and the coaching staff and at the moment we are taking it just week by week, day by day."

Carney admits he will never be able to get away from the incidents that have blighted his career but revealed he is working with the Roosters staff and organisations outside of the game to help improve his image.

"It is going to be hard, whenever people hear my name they are going to go back to things I did wrong back in Canberra and that is something I have to accept," he said.

"I am at a new club now with a new beginning. I have things in place with the Roosters and outside of football to try and change my image.

"I wake up in the morning feeling good I am enjoying living in Sydney. I also get my licence back in 12 months' time and I am ticking those days off."

The Country Origin representative will make his first appearance in Roosters colours in a trial match on Friday against Atherton Roosters, in far north Queensland.

Carney spent last year living and working in the town and playing for the local team in the Cairns District competition following his axing by the Raiders, and is looking forward to returning.

"The town is really excited about the Sydney Roosters coming ... they gave me the opportunity to play in their football team and they didn't have to do that and I owe them," he said.

Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce said he is relishing by the prospect of lining up alongside Carney, and tipped his new teammate to shine.

"I can't wait to play with him, I have always admired his footy and always watched loved watching him play when he was at Canberra," Pearce told AAP.

"I am looking forward to getting out there and working some combos with him. Smithy wants us to work together and if we get it right we will be pretty dangerous."

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