Todd Carney burnt by Neil Henry

Neil Henry Canberra Raiders signed with North Queensland Cowboys to coach NRL in 2009As news comes to light that Canberra Raiders coach Neil Henry has signed on as the North Queensland Cowboy coach for 2009, it’s not only Graham Murray hurting by the loss of his position at the Cowboys – spare a thought for Raiders key signing Todd Carney.

The upcoming half recently re-signed with Canberra after lucrative offers from the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Sea Eagles. Former coach Matt Elliott chasing hard to get his former gun back on-side over at the Panthers, but in weighing up all the offers – Carney is reported to have asked Neil Henry if the coach planned on staying in control at Canberra. His reponse having a big effect on Carney’s decision.

Neil Henry telling the young star “Yes mate, I’ll be here” In an amazing about face, weeks later Neil Henry signs to leave to the club at years end.

Young Carney now left to ponder what might have been, he is locked into a long term Canberra deal and his mentor is packing his bags after giving the kid his word he would stay.

As we critque players and their reasons for moving clubs, the dollar obviously having a big effect on movement – what about the coaches? They’ll tell you it’s a lifestyle change, or maybe it’s access to better facilities – but regardless of the reason for Henry choosing to walk away from Canberra, he has really left Carney in the dark.

How can Neil Henry expect players to respectfully follow his instructions if he is the kind of guy to mislead them and give them false guidance?

Even if Neil Henry hadn’t been offered a position with the Cowboys, you cannot say a move wasn’t somewhere in the back of his mind. And this being the case, he had to at least tell Carney he couldn’t be 100% certain about the future. Knowing the comment might affect Carney re-signing, Henry has flat out lied about his future and Carney feeling secure has re-signed with his junior club. Matt Elliott would also feel cheated by the situation, the Penrith coach keen to reunite with his former star – it would seem now, that Elliott is someone who would have better stood by Todd.

It will be interesting to see where this leaves the players at Canberra. You could understand them feeling let down and performances may come under question. Who could blame them? I am sure Todd Carney won’t be taking any bullets for the coach that fed him to the wolves – that’s for sure.

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