“Half a bunged-up leg, an overweight fat gut and down in the dumps. I became this massive monster,” said Bondi’s latest Carney of the horrific injury he suffered playing for Canberra in 2009, which nearly destroyed him, physically and mentally.
“You don’t like seeing yourself in the mirror, I’ll tell you. I wasn’t feeling great.”
Scoring two tries on debut for the Raiders against the Broncos back in 2008 put his name on the map. A name that was touted as a future star of the game.
This was coupled with the fact that he was named in the inaugural Toyota Cup side of the Year in 2008, only making his case to become a future star even stronger.
In 2009, Carney took his game to new heights, as he scored 7 tries before a shocking injury in Rd 17 forced him off the field and out for the remainder of the season.
The break which is perhaps one of the most horrific in the modern era caused Carney to go into shock after he snapped his tibia and fractured his tibia.
With an injury so severe, 6 months was the projected time-frame Carney faced on the sidelines, but he admits that he didn’t use the rehabilitation period as well as some would have hoped.
A result of too much alcohol and food, and not enough exercise resulted in the winger ballooning out to a massive 110kg, 13kg heavier than his playing weight.
He was having dark thoughts and was seriously considering giving the game up and a budding NRL career up with it, to return home to Nyngan, before the Rooster signed him.
“I was getting overweight pretty quick not running. I’ve just got that physique I suppose,” recalled Carney.
“I went out and being stupid and I got a bit too comfy. I got into that comfort zone where I was mucking up a bit, I wasn’t going on like an idiot … but in the back of my mind I knew I hadn’t given myself the best opportunity to do it.
“You’re lacking confidence and you want to improve but you just can’t.
“I wasn’t planning much for the following year, I’ll tell you. I was going to go home. It wasn’t a good time, but I’m here now.”
Carney is glad to be at the Roosters and feels comfortable at the club, and is full of praise for his new coach Brian Smith who has found Carney’s mojo and confidence again.
“I’m heading in the right direction preparing myself for the season,” he said.
“Everything’s just fallen into place.”