NRL final honour for Cowboys boss
HE has been described as ‘humble, generous and effective’ but you could safely sum up Greg Carey this week as ‘the man’.
The Warwick Cowboys president was named NRL Volunteer of the Year at the prestigious One Community Awards held as part of the grand final celebrations in Sydney.
NRL chief executive David Gallop said the award recognised and paid tribute to the game’s unsung heroes, who made an enormous contribution to helping others in rugby league and the wider community.
Yesterday the humble Rose City businessman, who has been at the forefront of local rugby league for a decade, was a little unsure how to react to media fanfare.
“I really accept this award on behalf of all the terrific volunteers, who work alongside me at the Cowboys.”
Credited with rescuing the club from near demise in 2000, he insisted it was by no means a single-handed feat.
“I couldn’t have done it without the help of a lot of dedicated people,” he said.
Yet even the characteristically cool-under-local grand final pressure, Carey (pictured) could barely contain his enthusiasm for the second part of his award.
On Sunday night in front of a crowd of 82,000, Carey will land in the middle of ANZ Stadium to deliver the Telstra Premiership Trophy as part of the 2010 NRL Grand Final between Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons.
Beside him in the helicopter will be Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan, who won the coveted Ken Stephens medal for exceptional service to the game as part of the One Community Awards.
“I still can’t quite believe it. I should be thinking about business, but I can’t quite get past what is going to happen on Sunday,” he said.
Back in Warwick, Cowboys secretary Garry Hanson said the club was “completely and utterly chuffed for Greg”.
“He is a humble man, he has always does what has to be done, I don’t think there could be a more deserved winner,” Mr Hanson said.
“When Greg took over the presidency of the Cowboys back in 2001, there were no players, no coaches, and we were losing games 146 points to six.
“He put his heart into the club and turned it around. Now we make the semi-finals in practically every grade, every season.
“Now people are proud to be part of the Cowboys. He is the best ambassador we could ever ask for.”
In Sydney juggling media interviews in his new role as award winner, Carey admitted he had mentioned the Warwick Cowboys “every chance I got”.
“That’s what it is about after all: my club.”
And on the subjects of clubs his pick for the NRL Grand Final: St George Illawarra Dragons.
“I had the pleasure of playing alongside Wayne Bennett for a short time many years ago – so I would have to support him as a former Warwick footballer.”