Carter expected to appeal Titans sacking
The Gold Coast Titans are expecting the club's 2014 Rookie of the Year Paul Carter to appeal the termination of his contract but it is highly unlikely he will play for the club again after a second drink driving offence in the space of six months.
Less than 48 hours after Greg Bird had the Titans co-captaincy taken from him due to being issued with a criminal infringement notice the night after his wedding, Carter was arrested and charged for mid-range drink driving whilst unlicensed.
Carter's license was suspended back in June when he plead guilty to high-range drink driving after he was pulled over for driving the wrong way down Orchid Avenue in Surfers Paradise and this latest offence pushed the Titans past breaking point.
At the time of his arrest in June his management and the Titans were in the midst of a negotiation for an upgraded contract, a contract that is now just days away from being torn up.
He will have the opportunity to appear before the board and appeal the decision but a disillusioned CEO, Graham Annesley, said his football career will almost certainly have to be pursued elsewhere.
"It's very sad for Paul; it's a terrible way for him to end his career at the club if that's what happens at the end of the process," said Annesley, who admitted that he was "lost for words" having to address yet another issue of poor player behaviour.
"It's going to set his life back seriously and it's sad for the club. He's one of our best players, we all know that so we would prefer that players do the right thing and get on with their job which is playing football to the best of their ability.
"The vast majority of players do the right thing in the community and are great representatives of the brand we're trying to promote; unfortunately we've had a few incidents this year where players have got themselves into trouble and that has set us back."
Ahead of a three-day camp on the New South Wales far North Coast it is yet another blow to coach Neil Henry's pre-season preparations but he revealed that the club had been helping Carter with personal issues.
Twelve months after arriving on the Gold Coast and presenting himself as a likeable young man with a big future ahead of him, Carter was forced to do laps with Henry in the first week of pre-season eight weeks ago when he turned up woefully out of condition.
No one expected he would play 21 games in his first year in the NRL yet he quickly became an integral cog of the Titans machine, filling in at hooker and playing with plenty of aggression in the back row.
But for all his on-field success Henry hinted that there were personal demons he was struggling to come to grips with.
"Paul has had an opportunity, we have put measures in place to help him out with a few of the issues he has in his life and he was making some progress there but to go and transgress again, especially when the courts have said he's unlicensed, that's unacceptable," Henry said.
"It's unacceptable to the players that he plays with and to the club and organisation as well as the rugby league community. It's unfortunate, we'll still support him in his endeavours to get back on track but it's likely that he's played his last game for the club.
"We're now down a player, a player who had a standout year, was our rookie of the year and was developing into a player that the boys liked to play alongside. Quite an aggressive player out on the field as well and he was certainly developing his skills so we're certainly going to miss him as part of our roster but we're fully aware that we can't have this type of behaviour at the club."