Todd Carney in Byron Bay after taking up captain-coach for Byron Bay Red Devils in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season.
Todd Carney in Byron Bay after taking up captain-coach for Byron Bay Red Devils in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season. Marc Stapelberg

Todd Carney: 'People make up stories about me'

A COMMITTED Todd Carney will be out to silence his critics when he runs out as captain-coach for Byron Bay in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season.

Carney was upfront and honest about his past mistakes including the infamous bubbler incident which led to his NRL sacking at Cronulla in 2014.

He returns to Australia having played four years in the English Super League and has signed for three years at the Red Devils in NRRRL.

The 32-year-old said he has heard plenty of rumours of his behaviour since moving to Byron Bay in November and was quick to hose them down.

"There's a new rumour every day that I've been done drink driving or kicked out of places around town and it's just not true," Carney said.

"It comes with the territory and I've grown to have a thick skin when people make up stories about me.

"You have critics and doubters and it probably frustrates the people at the club who have put faith in me more than anything.

"I felt that my clean slate came after the bubbler incident at Cronulla and I've had no issues since then, which I can happily say.

"It's all in the past for me now.

"I know people think I'm going to do a runner from here after one year but I'm committed and want to build something over the next few years."

He said he had been welcomed to the club with open arms and he always wanted to go into coaching after his professional career.

Todd Carney in Byron Bay after taking up captain-coach for Byron Bay Red Devils in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season.
Todd Carney in Byron Bay after taking up captain-coach for Byron Bay Red Devils in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League this season. Marc Stapelberg

The exciting thing for the Red Devils is Carney could easily still play in the NRL on his ability and he has the potential to lead them to a premiership.

"I made it public over the last few years that I wanted to return to the NRL and it was a hard decision to pull the curtain down on my career," Carney said.

"But from where I am now I couldn't be happier with the decision I made.

"We're trying to be professional with how we train and conduct ourselves at Byron Bay.

"I'm excited that we have an under-18s team and I look forward to working with all our juniors.

"Rugby league is great when you're winning and I want to make this an enjoyable place for the players while we work hard at the same time.

"We're getting 40-50 blokes at training and it makes it easier for me to plan sessions with that sort of commitment from the whole club."

NRRRL supporters won't have to wait much longer to see him in action with the Red Devils hosting two trial games in March.

The first trial is against the Southport Tigers on March 2.



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