Justin Carney admits he’d never even heard of Castleford before signing for the club – but now says Castleford is his home, and he’s the happiest he’s been for years.
Carney was plucked from relative Rugby League obscurity when Castleford snapped him up in 2013, after failing to score a single try during his final season at the Sydney Roosters in 2012. He signed a two-year deal with the club – which was extended by another five years this year after a blistering start to life in West Yorkshire.
And the powerhouse winger openly admitted earlier this week that he quickly became engrossed in the culture Castleford have – and insists he doesn’t want to leave any time soon.
When asked if he’d heard of Cas before signing, Carney said: “No, I’d heard of Leeds and Wigan and that’s because they were always winning things. Brian Smith was my coach at Roosters at the time and he helped me a lot. he told me it was grass roots rugby league at Cas.
“I have quickly found out how important rugby league is to Cas. This is my home now; this is what I call home for the next five years; seven before I leave. I couldn’t be happier.”
Carney also admitted that if he hadn’t been signed up by the Tigers last year, he would probably have retired – and says he owes the club a lot after they invested faith in him during difficult times.
“I was down and out and if I hadn’t come to Cas I was going to retire. I didn’t feel like I had the best opportunity after my injury coming back. I wasn’t playing the best either. So to come to a place where nothing was expected and just go out and play my own game was good. Then over the weeks I actually found myself again. I have never been happier.
“I didn’t know what I would have done had I not come over here. I wasn’t in a great place. My wife stuck with me through all that garbage I went through after I broke my leg; moving to a big smoke like Canberra. It was a big change and she still came over to Cas with me when all the odds were against me. I had nothing to lose but kind of did.
“I put all my eggs in one basket and came here. I owe it to Cas to because they put faith in me and it’s great to feel that.