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Raiders put Monaghan controversy behind

12/11/2010 02:04:14 PM Comments (0)

Canberra Raiders co-captain Alan Tongue is confident the controversy surrounding former team-mate Joel Monaghan won't distract the NRL side's preparations for next season.

Monaghan quit the club in disgrace earlier this week after a after a photograph taken during Mad Monday celebrations of him in a compromising position with a dog was posted on the internet.

But Tongue said Raiders players had already put the controversy behind them.

"It's a fresh start here today," Tongue said at the club's first pre-season training session.

"It's obviously disappointing what's gone on but that's behind us now. And we're all focused on working hard heading into this Christmas break.

"I think it will be a great learning curve for us. It's important for our young guys to learn some of the lessons how the media can be pretty harsh on you and every move that we do is watched and watched very carefully."

Tongue said the club still had plenty of strength in its backline with with Joel Thompson and the recruitment of speedster Blake Ferguson from Cronulla.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner said the incident had provided a harsh lesson for the team.

"I think it's a really tough reminder for them and they see the pain on his face. They're still good mates with him and he'll be a big loss for us," Furner said.

"There's just no winners with what happened.

"Nobody won out of it. Certainly professional footballers in our club have shown they can move on and they will."

Monaghan is expected to visit the club next week to farewell his former teammates.

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