Todd Carney has come to terms with the fact his NRL career is over, declaring his new home at the Catalans Dragons will be his last.
While his swift dismissal from the NRL still irks the exiled rugby league star, the troubled genius hopes it has led him to the club where he can finish his career and fulfil his dream of winning a title.
Despite carrying a grudge into his new surroundings at the Super League’s Dragons, the 2010 Dally M Medal winner insists there is no looking back at the saga which led to his sacking.
Carney on Monday was put through a training session with his new teammates before fronting a media conference for the first time since being photographed doing ‘the bubbler’, the final off-field act which broke the proverbial camel’s back and led to his eventual sacking from Cronulla in June.
He did all of this in Perpignan, France, where he will begin life at the Dragons, who offered the former NSW five-eighth what must surely be his final lifeline.
Carney wasn’t eager to reflect on the actions which kick-started his French adventure, but made it clear that the manner in which he was dumped by Cronulla and the NRL left a sour taste in his mouth.
“I’ve always put my hand up,” he told reporters.
“I’ve obviously done the wrong thing.
“I may not have deserved the punishment I got, but to be here in France … I’m not looking back.
“That’s past me now.
“The goals I’ve set myself are pretty high and I’m confident that the Catalans are going to help me achieve that.”
The Dragons will be Carney’s fourth club, following sackings from NRL sides Canberra, the Sydney Roosters and the Sharks, and the 28-year-old is insistent he won’t be wasteful of what could be his last chance at playing professional rugby league.
The free-spirited playmaker, who built up a lengthy rap sheet during a chequered NRL career, said he planned to fully immerse himself in the French culture – and even vowed to learn the language.
That was an approach taken by Roosters coach Trent Robinson, who was in charge of the Dragons in 2011 and 2012 and played a significant role in convincing Carney that it would be the right place for him to rebuild his career.
“As soon as I get settled, I’ll be taking (French) lessons,” said Carney, who will live with former Cronulla teammate Ben Pomeroy while he finds his own place.
“I’ve signed a three-year deal and I’d like to finish my career here and go on longer, after the three years.
“I’m really going to get into that and the culture and make this my home for the rest of my career.
“I want to try and make this my home for the rest of my football career.”