Todd Carney has signed up with the Byron Bay Red Devils.
Todd Carney has signed up with the Byron Bay Red Devils. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Todd Carney signs up with Byron Bay rugby league club

CONTROVERSIAL rugby league player Todd Carney has shelved plans to return to the NRL and signed up to be the captain-coach of the Byron Bay Red Devils.

Devils president, Ben Webber, said he was looking forward to welcoming the 32-year-old to the North Coast.

"We've been in talks with Todd on and off for a few months," Webber said.

"We've known each other for a while now, and I'd suggested to him that when he was finished with the NRL, he should come to Byron Bay.

"It's lucky that the Devils are based in Byron - it's a good drawcard.

"There is life after (professional) football and this is a great thing for our club."

A former Dally M Medallist, Carney told the Wide World of Sports that moving to Byron Bay was an "exciting opportunity... to put something back into the game".

"I would have loved to play on in the NRL but then this chance came up and I decided to take it," he said.

Carney had a stellar career on the field, but there was some issues off it.

He debuted for Canberra in 2004 and was described as a rare talent.

After a series of controversial alcohol-related incidents, the Raiders released Carney and he spent time with the Atherton club before being given a lifeline by the Roosters in 2010.

Webber said he had full confidence in Carney's abilities to guide the Red Devils during next year's NRRRL competition.

"Yes, he's had his ups and downs; there have been some issues for him in the past," he said.

"But he is a good bloke and his heart is in the right place.

"To have someone of his calibre is a huge boost for us. It's massive news for the Red Devils.

"He came and inspected the grounds and he was impressed. We've done a lot of work recently - we've painted the clubhouse, we have new amenities and a new electronic scoreboard."

Webber said he hoped Carney would also help the club build its junior program.

It is understood that Carney has been looking for a rental property in the region and he's expected to move to the area in the next few weeks.