Bradford Bulls: Wigan stand in the way of grand finale for Carvell (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Bulls: Wigan stand in the way of grand finale for Garreth Carvell
When Warrington were defeated by Leeds in their maiden Grand Final appearance 12 months ago, Garreth Carvell played no part.
The new Bulls recruit had been dropped by Wolves coach Tony Smith for the play-off wins over Hull FC and St Helens and was consigned to the stands again at Old Trafford.
It was a bitter pill to swallow but, on Saturday, the imposing prop will aim for one last hurrah as a Warrington player before joining Bradford on a two-year deal.
The Wolves are back at the Theatre of Dreams again and this time Carvell should be in Smith’s 17.
“It was so disappointing not to get picked for the semis and the Grand Final last year,” admitted Carvell, who will end a five-year association with Warrington this weekend.
“Did it spur me on? Yes, definitely.
“You have to take it on the chin, learn from it and come back stronger. That’s all you can do because there is no point in sulking – you do your best for the team in any way you can.
“That’s what I did last year and I’m just glad to be in contention for a place this week.
“Tony doesn’t shy away from the big decisions, so if you don’t perform you don’t play and that’s how he gets the best out of his team.
“It’s good to be under that kind of pressure and know that you’re fighting for your place week in and week out.”
Warrington have not been crowned champions since 1955 but, after helping the Cheshire club to three Challenge Cup wins in the past five years, Carvell is hopeful that the Super League title could now be theirs.
“It would mean so much to win on Saturday,” added the 32-year-old, who failed to make the cut for England’s World Cup squad this week.
“It’s what every team works towards and it was certainly our plan at the beginning of the year. We wanted to win the Challenge Cup as well but unfortunately that slipped away from us.
“We have a chance now to redeem ourselves in the Grand Final and hopefully come away with a win.
“I had a taste of the Grand Final in 2006 with Hull when we got beat by St Helens. It’s bitterly disappointing to go all that way and lose. I don’t want to experience that again.”
Carvell, who hails from Morley and began his career at Leeds, has made Warrington his home since joining from Hull FC ahead of the 2009 campaign.
He wanted to stay but Smith decided against offering him a new deal.
“I’ve had five good years here and enjoyed every single second of it,” said Carvell. “We’ve had some success, so it’s hard to leave and I didn’t want to leave.
“I’ve still got a lot to give but Tony is paid to make these decisions. I’ll stand by him and say that it’s the right one if that’s the way he feels.
“He wants to bring young players through and I think it’s great for the sport if the likes of Glenn Riley, who has come up through the Academy system, get their chance.
“It’s just one of those things. Times change and people move on – that’s exactly what I’m doing.
“But I’ve loved being part of such a great squad and playing under a great coach in Tony.
“My partner Vicki and I are settled in Warrington and we’ll be staying.
“Our little boy Isaac is deaf and we have all the facilities and support network we need for him here.”
Carvell is looking forward to becoming a Bulls player but admitted the sudden recent departure of Omar Khan, leading to a change of ownership which has yet to be ratified by the RFL, had given him cause for concern.
Carvell said: “I was told that Omar was staying but he’s disappeared so I need to chase that up and see what’s going on. It’s a bit of a strange one but at the minute I’m just concentrating on Warrington.
“I was told by the people that tell me these things that everything was fine. I’m hoping that it is.”
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