Furner hopes to see Monaghan return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Furner hopes to see Monaghan return

By Matthew Sadler and Steve Jancetic 09/11/2010 06:32:57 PM Comments (0)

Canberra chief executive Don Furner hopes Joel Monaghan one day returns to the NRL club after the disgraced centre quit the Raiders in the wake of a Mad Monday prank that went horribly wrong.

Monaghan broke down as he delivered the news that he would walk away from the club to save it from further embarrassment after a photograph of him in a compromising position with a dog was posted on the internet.

He will seek a start in the Super League next season but Furner said he could envision a day when the 28-year-old once again donned the Raiders' colours.

"I hope he is welcome back in Canberra because he's done a lot of good in this city," Furner said.

"He's had to pay a very high price for a party prank at somebody's house."

With Monaghan's exit confirmed, Furner said there would not be a witch-hunt to find those responsible for putting the lewd photograph in the public domain.

"I can assure everybody here that we don't know who took the photo, if it was one of our players," Furner said.

"There's no way in the world that they would want this to happen to Joel, there's no way in the world that one of our players would have uploaded this onto a website and wanted this to happen to Joel."

NRL chief executive David Gallop described the events that led to Monaghan's resignation as a sad affair for all concerned but said it was too early to speculate on his possible return to the competition.

"Joel has today paid a heavy price in standing down from the Raiders and I think people are entitled to acknowledge both his contrition and the way he has handled things over the last couple of days," Gallop said in a statement.

"It is a poignant reminder though that people need to think before they act, even when it is seemingly done in jest."

A teary Monaghan struggled to deliver a prepared statement at a press conference in the nation's capital on Tuesday, pausing several times to regain his composure before finally leaving his manager Jim Banaghan to finish the address.

The final straw for the former NSW and Australian representative was when he began to thank his team-mates - particularly Terry Campese - who along with fellow Raiders co-captain Alan Tongue flanked Monaghan at Tuesday's press conference.

"There are no hard feelings or grudges towards anyone else," Monaghan said outside the Raiders' office.

"They're my actions and I'm totally responsible.

"I'll have to handle the jokes and taunts which is understandable, but the players shouldn't have to put up with the pressure that my ongoing presence will bring.

"I've received a huge amount of support from all the players and loved ones. The reality is the prank isn't going to be forgotten anytime soon."

Monaghan revealed he phoned each of the Raiders' sponsors to apologise for his actions and to inform them of his decision to seek a release from the final two years of his contract, which the club granted.

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