Todd Carney has left the Northern Pride.
Todd Carney has left the Northern Pride.

Stalemate ends as Pride let Carney go

TODD Carney's troubled tenure with the Northern Pride is officially over, with the former Dally M medallist released from his three-year deal with the club yesterday and set to return to the field in the British Super League.

Carney walked out on the club in early May to be closer to his sick mother in Sydney while also pursuing playing contracts with other clubs.

The former Sydney Rooster was linked to several NSW teams following his departure, including South Sydney Rabbitohs feeder club North Sydney Bears and the Newtown Jets.

In response, the Pride demanded a $15,000 release fee as compensation for the playmaker, given he had signed a long-term contract with the club in late 2017.

Both parties refused to budge for more than two months until yesterday afternoon, when the Pride announced an agreement had been reached.

Chairman Tony Williamson said he had been in recent contact with Carney and wished him well for the future.

"I'm glad that we've been able to settle," Williamson said.

"We respected Todd's space when he left to be close to his family but obviously we knew he wasn't coming back to Cairns. We had a contract for his services for another two and a half years and we stood our ground.

"It was never our intention to stop him from him playing but we had an agreement in place. All parties can now move forward and we wish him all the best."

FREE TO PLAY: Todd Carney will play his first game of professional rugby league since April this week. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
FREE TO PLAY: Todd Carney will play his first game of professional rugby league since April this week. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Carney, 32, signed an eight-week contract to play for Hull Kingston Rovers in the British Super League this week, where he is expected to play this weekend against Hull FC.

"I think he had a good time up there (in Far North Queensland) and I thought it was a good club," Carney's manager David Riolo said of the Pride. "Obviously circumstances closer to home meant it didn't work out."

The Pride have won seven of their 10 matches since Carney's sudden departure and sit fourth on the ISC ladder.

"Our playing group hasn't missed a beat and they're doing an outstanding job," Williamson said.



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