Justin Carney has revealed Salford’s ability to help turn his life around made the decision to remain at the club a ‘no-brainer’.
The prolific winger made his loan move from Castleford permanent last week after signing a three-year deal to stay at the club.
He initially joined the club carrying plenty of baggage, with allegations of off-field misdemeanours bringing an unsavoury end to a successful spell at Castleford.
At the time, his switch to Salford, from the outside at least, appeared to be a get-out clause rather than a move to galvanise his career. And while that may have been true at the time, Carney admits that the Red Devils have helped him come through a turbulent period in his private life.
“I wasn’t entirely sure what the future would hold for me,” Carney said.
“When I looked at the situation at first, this wasn’t me joining a Wigan or a Leeds, a club with a trophy winning reputation.
“But in life I believe you judge things on what works for you, because everyone is different and this is the right place for me. Given the circumstances in which I came to the club, they’ve done nothing but love me and make me feel at home. What more could you want than that?”
Carney had options to move elsewhere in Super League and even the NRL.
“But if it’s not broke then why try and fix it,” he asked.
“My thing was to stay happy, and I am happy with this place, so I didn’t really look elsewhere.
“I knew Wigan were interested to some extent, but I didn’t get anything formal. They needed a winger, and I am a winger, so I knew my name would get coughed up.
“There was some interest from other clubs, and I could have possibly gone to the NRL, but this place has become home for me.”
Carney, 27, is not afraid to admit that the drama surrounding his private life and the way in which it came to light publicly was difficult to deal with. But after finding happiness at Salford he admits he is gradually making a full recovery.
“You make bad choices in life, and I think I’ve paid the price for that,” he said.
“You have to put up with the consequences. My thing now is to try and get back to where I was before all of that stuff happened. I’m well on my way now. I’ve had a lot of help from my family, Marwan, the club and a lot of people from outside the club, and some from Cas. I’m in a good place.
“It was a very difficult time, but you can’t look back, because if you dwell on the past it stops you being the person you are. I’ve got two kids and I’ve got to look after them, and I can’t do that if I’m down in the dumps. I have to look after them and concentrate on being me.”