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 From bad boy to best and fairest 

From bad boy to best and fairest

08 Sep, 2010 07:39 AM
Sydney Roosters five-eighth Todd Carney last night capped his transformation from rugby league bad boy to poster boy when he won the NRL's player of the year award.

Six months after returning to the NRL after a ban of more than a year for a series of alcohol-related offences, Carney received the Dally M Medal from 1980 winner Robert ''Rocky'' Laurie after a dramatic countdown to the best and fairest award at Sydney's State Theatre.

Carney, who spent the 2009 season rebuilding his life and career playing park football in far North Queensland after being sacked by Canberra and banned from the NRL, edged out Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah by a single vote in a contest that came down to the last round.

It was the second time Farah had gone within a single vote of winning the Dally M Medal after finishing runner-up to Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston in 2007.

Carney also won the Provan-Summons Medal after being voted the fans' player of the year, as well as five-eighth of the year.

Roosters teammate Braith Anasta, who shifted to lock to accommodate Carney at five-eighth, was named Dally M captain of the year and Brian Smith won coach of the year.

Carney gave credit to Roosters coach Smith for his award.

''He told me when I came in [started at the club] if I was not heading in his direction to head out of the door,'' he said.

''I sat up and listened and I owe a lot of this award to him. Also my mum and my sisters who have been there for me all along and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them.''

Farah walked away with the hooker of the year award after he stormed into contention for the main gong through the final rounds.

Trailing Carney by three votes going into the last round, Farah collected two votes for his efforts in the 21-18 loss to the Titans to fall agonisingly short of a tied outcome.

Farah was the only positional winner to have previously won an award, having been named hooker of the year in 2007.

Newcastle winger Akuila Uate and Brisbane second-rower Sam Thaiday were the only award winners whose teams are not involved in the finals series, starting this weekend.

Uate was also the NRL's leading tryscorer, crossing 21 times for the Knights this season.

Carney and Farah will go head to head again on Saturday when the Roosters take on the Tigers at the Sydney Football Stadium in the second qualifying final.

After Carney started the season at fullback, Smith moved the NSW Country Origin star to five-eighth alongside halfback Mitchell Pearce.

The move coincided with a stunning mid-season run of form that saw the side chalk up five successive wins, highlighted by a brilliant 48-12 victory over last year's grand finallist Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium.

Melbourne players, who in recent seasons have dominated the positional awards, were snubbed following the salary cap breaches that resulted in the Storm being stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships and forced to play this season for no competition points.

with AAP

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Just take it easy on Monday, Todd. The media would love a story of your fall as much as they love one about your rise.
Posted by Gareth, 8/09/2010 10:08:41 AM, on The Canberra Times
Congratulations mate. Great to see a bloke get his life back on track and a true talent of the game play to his high potential. Proud of ya Toddy
Posted by raiders fan, 8/09/2010 10:16:29 AM, on The Canberra Times
Another fantastic decision by Raiders management. Imagine if He was there now with the team we have at the!...
Posted by Reality, 8/09/2010 11:38:02 AM, on The Canberra Times
Wake up Reality, Todd needed the boot for him to realise he needed to make changes to his life. All the best for Todd and his future.
Posted by dave, 8/09/2010 12:37:04 PM, on The Canberra Times
If only the Raiders had provided a mentor for him !
Posted by bert, 8/09/2010 12:43:42 PM, on The Canberra Times
Carney would not of won last night if he was still at the raiders. He needed to get out of the 'berra' and rediscover what he liked about footy. I thought him going to the roosters was going to be a disaster cause of the great times available in the eastern suburbs. We will wait and see, he has made a great start though.
Posted by damo, 8/09/2010 12:51:33 PM, on The Canberra Times
Never forget where you came from Toddy... but Well Done.
Posted by kincuri, 8/09/2010 2:06:09 PM, on The Canberra Times
dave - NO other club in the NRL would have done what the Raiders did to a Dally M winner. Bert 100% correct and what my point has been all along, WHY couldn't the Raiders have done the same thing...then bring back next year. I guess that would have taken some time and foresight...
Posted by Reality, 8/09/2010 2:10:37 PM, on The Canberra Times
Well said Reality. When you sign a kid at school you take on some responsibility, the Raiders had a champion here and all he needed was a little mentoring. His great family have done that but oh what might have been. Great teams pop up every now and again, the first Broncos team, maroons of late and a great Raiders outfit that should still have Toddy in there.
Posted by Sam, 8/09/2010 3:07:13 PM, on The Canberra Times
in reply to 'reality' if Todd was still @ the Raiders we'd be a basketcase, (Just like the Chooks were Pre-Smith!) and we'd have to employ Brian Smith as Coach to get the club 'back on track' and finally, how does Todd get 2pts in the sharks vs. roosters match, the roosters were 'rubbish' that night!
Posted by GoodOnyaTodd, Now Get Lost!, 8/09/2010 3:46:03 PM, on The Canberra Times

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Carney after being sacked by the Raiders in 2008.
Carney after being sacked by the Raiders in 2008.
Carney gets a kiss from his mum after winning the Dally M last night.
Carney gets a kiss from his mum after winning the Dally M last night.

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