… OK… I’m going to be a liar if I say that I didn’t see this coming from a mile away… BUT FUCK THIS BULLSHIT, I AM LEGITIMATELY PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS ONE. I was pissed off about Brett Morris leaving, but I felt OK with it because he had won us a premiership and the Dragons fucked him over, hence why he left. I was pissed off about Mez leaving because I didn’t think we’d get anyone to replace him, but after seeing some our new signings, I’m OK with it…
But losing our #GarveyModeEngage, who could’ve been a great Hooker for our team and wear the #9 for YEARS to come? That pissed me off. Immensely.
And the fact that the Dragons won’t even acknowledge the fact that they released him, and the poor bloke took it upon himself to let the fans know via Instagram… Which got taken down, probably because the management at the Dragons had a hissy fit…
He’s getting an entire blog post to himself. ONLY ONE OTHER PLAYER HAS HAD THIS TREATMENT. Congrats Garvs, you’ve achieved B-Moz-level respect from me. Wear it like a badge of honour. There aren’t many players who have this level of respect from me.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Craig ever since he captained the Dragons NYC team back in 2013, got a role in in the U20’s State of Origin team, followed by his Round 17 debut against the Roosters, & I have to say that he showed a lot of potential back in 2013. So, while I cheered and supported my team as usual, I’ve also kept an eye on the lower grades to see what sort of talent we had coming through the ranks. I have this feeling when I’ve seen players who I believe have the potential to go far in their careers.
I’ve seen it with Euan Aitken, Jack Bird, Drew Hutchinson, & Jackson Hastings, and I’ve seen it with Craig Garvey. He continued to do well in the lower grades and I couldn’t wait to see him get a shot at First Grade.
For those ignorant people out there who have no idea who the fuck I’m talking about (If you’re one of these people, get out right now and get in the sea where you belong), Craig Garvey was one our upcoming players who had taken a one year hiatus from the game, due to off-field issues.
If you don’t know what they were, long story short:
Dickhead was being a cheeky cunt to Craig and pushed him. Craig decked the motherfucker and the dickhead who was made Garvs’ bitch, whinged to the cops. This led to a massive off-field drama for Garvs, who had to stick to the sidelines, unable to actually play that season, bar for a couple of games… BTW, one of which being against the Sharks at Wollongong, where THIS epic picture was made.
That picture, that moment right there… That’s the birth of #GarveyModeEngage, which was a hashtag created by my mate @WallyFrogmore on Twitter (Follow him you cheeky cunts, he literally had no chill). I kinda just “adopted it” into my artworks… With his permission of course… OK fine, I annexed it, fuck you all. But literally this the best pic of this bloke in Dragons Gear, ever. Seriously, someone actually find out where this jersey, that he’s wearing, is located right now. I want to frame it. Regardless, courts saw it out, Garvs was found guilty, but due to good behavior in the past, he got 300 hours community service, which saw him reinstated with the Dragons at the start of 2015.
Now, I expected Garvs to be groomed as our next Hooker from this point. He had the skill, Rein couldn’t last a full 80 minutes in the game, it was common sense. I mean, why keep the bloke on if you had no intentions of using him, right? Well, obviously there was a different plan in motion, given that Mary (Coach McGregor) kept Heath L’Estrange as the back-up Hooker. Now this is something that I questioned greatly and ultimately concluded that Heath’s role was to give Rein a much needed kick up the bum to get him into action, which actually worked to be honest. But then, towards the middle of the season, Mary saw the light and FINALLY, after nearly a year and half, decided to use Garvs on the bench. It wasn’t the best time for Garvs to be out there, considering that the Dragons weren’t doing so well around that time, but it was good to see him get some experience that I was sure would contribute to his spot in 2016 with us.
However, one thing did annoy me… The lack of use during that horrible game against the Broncos. I was SCREAMING at the TV, for Mary to pull his finger out and get Garvs in Dummy Half, and get Hutchinson in the halves so JBD could ACTUALLY do his job properly… NOPE. Nothing. But regardless, Garvs did OK until that game. After that, Rein was forced to play 80 minutes, and poor Garvs didn’t even get another chance at 1st Grade again for the Dragons.
Now, during the off-season, there were rumours going around that Garvs was getting shopped to the Raiders, and my heart sank. I could see Garvs’ spot getting threatened when the Dragons bought Havili, but I felt as though it was more or less to do what L’Estrange did to Rein, to motivate him. Plus, Peter Mulholland himself, told me at the Dragons Coaches Forum that was held earlier in 2015, that Craig Garvey’s contract had been adjusted so that he would be staying with us until 2016. So naturally, I assumed Craig would stay on. Now, I read the article where Garvs stated that he wanted to repay the faith at the club, and I’ve had word from people that it was 100% true, which is great to hear… But I also heard that there’s a clause in his contract that stated if he played 1st Grade with us, he was allowed to shop himself around for 2016, due to the fact he earned $80k.
What idiot decided THAT would be a good idea? Seriously? Well, it turns out that it’s obviously worked because Craig’s signed with the Bulldogs for the next 2 years.
OK, Bulldogs, you need to stop trying to be us, OK? You’re copying our look with you CEO failing at using the “Blue V” line, your derek fans are trying to steal D4L (Dragons 4 Life) from us and turn it into Dogs 4 Life, and you’re fucking taking all of our players. Josh Morris, Brett Morris, now Craig Garvey too. Bulldogs, you can:
But my natural hatred for the Doggies aside, I’m actually glad that Craig’s done this. Not leaving the Dragons, because I want us to actually be able to retain good players. I’m glad because he’s got more of a chance of breaking into regular 1st Grade with the Bulldogs than he does at the Dragons. And he deserves it.
As someone who’s had to watch from the outside, I’ve seen someone who’s gone through troubling times and has learned a great deal from it. I know that people often make jokes about how I make such a big deal over this, but in all honesty… This isn’t purely about Craig. This is about my club, the Dragons, investing their time and resources to give the bloke a second chance, only to not actually give him that chance. He’s now got that chance at another club, when he’s shown the passion for the Dragons that some of the other players, I feel, haven’t. The bloke kept up with his fitness during that year he was off. He trained daily to not lose his edge, this guy showed fucking commitment.
I saw that from the social media posts and I saw that this man has the potential to go far. It’s just a shame that it won’t be at the Dragons.
I wish you all the best at the Bulldogs for the next 2 years, mate. I hope you get the chance to break there and show everyone what you’re made of. And I’m foolishly optimistic that hopefully you’ll come back home to the Red V, where you really belong. You’re a top bloke Craig & remember to: