Shackleton believed Eels career was over when Kearney signed

Shane Shackleton

He may only have himself to blame for it, but former Eels prop Shane Shackleton believes that the reason why he saw little first-grade for the club, was because of one Stephen Kearney.

Frustrated at playing for the Wentworthville Magpies, the Eels feeder NSW Cup team week after week, Shackleton sought a release from the club, and was granted one to join Penrith, in a mid-season transfer.

All the controversy started, when Shackleton posted ‘Steve Kearney is a f****r, on his Facebook account, when he was asked as to why he was not playing first-grade.

“It was a confusing situation for me because I didn’t know what more I could do to play first grade,” Shackleton said.

“I felt like an outcast because I wasn’t around the boys and wasn’t in the team. It was depressing. I wanted to be with my mates. The worst thing was that I was playing well.

“It didn’t seem to matter how well I played, I just couldn’t get back. I guess the Facebook thing was part of that. It was a sign of my frustration and a spur of the moment thing that came out of what I was going through.

“But it is something I regret and shouldn’t have said. Still now, even though I am here, I can say it was a mistake.”

Although the incident may have cost him first-grade at the Eels, Shackleton says that he and Kearney are still good mates, but he feels like he had a line put through his name, ‘never to play for the Eels again’, much earlier than that.

“Me and Steve are still mates but I am sure he wasn’t happy about it,” Shackleton said. “The most disappointing thing for me, and I said this to him when it happened, was that I gave people fuel to stir the club up.”

“I did think he had put a line through me.”

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