Todd Carney keen to make his mark with Catalans

Catalans Dragons new halfback Todd Carney is looking to get his career back on track in the South of France, after a turbulent time Down Under.

After being sacked by Cronulla Sharks in June following the controversial ‘bubbling’ incident, the 28-year-old is now determined to make his mark in Super League.

“I enjoy watching the Super League,” he told reporters at his official unveiling in Perpignan this week.

“I didn’t know a great deal about the place beforehand but I spoke to a few people, in particular Trent Robinson.

“Even though he is coaching the Sydney Roosters right now, for him to say that he would love to come back and coach here again some day was one of the reasons I signed.

“I told him the clubs I was speaking to and he suggested I come here and I took his word for it. I’m away from both the Australian and English media and with the 10th season coming up, that is appealing to me.

“They haven’t won a trophy since they started so that’s going to drive me and I’m sure drive the whole playing group to achieve that in this 10th year.”

One man who was not keen on Carney coming to Super League was Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington, who tried to block Carney’s move earlier this year.

Carney is sanguine about the fact that his reputation as one of the sport’s ‘bad boys’ means that he will always divide opnion.

He is also keen to let his play on the park do his talking for him now.

“I think everyone has an opinion and rightly so,” he added.

“For me, I have set myself goals and my goal is to perform here for the Catalans Dragons but also make the English Super League a lot stronger competition.

“Hopefully by the way I play and the way I perform by the end of this year, or by the time my career at the Catalans finishes, he [Hetherington] will have changed his opinion.”

The Dragons have been compelled to hand over a £50,000 bond as a way of guaranteeing Carney’s conduct during his stay in Perpignan.

The player has also been sacked by Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters, but he is now looking forward to leaving the Australia media circus behind, and getting on with his rugby once again.

“The Australian media has been pretty cruel,” he added.

“I’ll always put my hand up and I’ve obviously done the wrong things. I may not have deserved the punishment that I got but I’m not looking back. That is all past me now.

“I’ve had four months to set a goal to myself and to start a new adventure and I’ve never had that opportunity before. The goals I’ve set myself are pretty high and I’m confident that the Catalans can help me achieve those goals.”

Another Australian player who has re-established his reputation in Super League after disciplinary issues Down Under is Warrington winger Joel Monaghan.

Carney revealed that he has spoken to Joel and Michael Monaghan, now assistant coach at the Dragons, about how to make sure he settles properly in Super League.

“Two nights before I left Australia, I had dinner with Joel and I know Michael Monaghan from my time at the Raiders and for him to be a coach here, that also excites me,” Carney said.

“He’s done everything in the game and I’m excited to work with him, to build my game as a half and to improve from what he knows.”

Meanwhile, Catalans coach Laurent Frayssinous is relishing the chance to be working with his players again during pre-season.

“It’s great to be back at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium and to work with the players,” he said.

“They had a good break and came back fresh, both mentally ad physically. Everybody is really motivated and ready to work hard.”

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