Cartwright training with Spud Carroll

From the DT.

Bryce Cartwright is training house down with torturous gym sessions as he prepares for NRL comeback

He’s the bloke many would like to see fail, but Bryce Cartwright is ready to win over NRL fans after linking with a legendary hard man.

Here is the undeniable proof that Bryce Cartwright is busting a gut to reinvigorate his stalled NRL career.

Cartwright, the former Penrith and Gold Coast star, has been torturing his body during gruelling training sessions at the Darlinghurst gymnasium of former rugby league hardman Mark “Spudd” Carroll.

Boxing sessions, rowing machines, arm curls — Cartwright is preparing himself physically to start training next week with new club Parramatta.

“I feel 10-foot tall coming out of that gym,” Cartwright said. “I’m feeling really strong, fast, explosive and have put on a few extra kilos of muscle. It’s the best shape I have been going into a pre-season before.

“My hunger is growing every day. I want to get back to my best and get better each day. I not only want to prove other people wrong but prove to myself that I can become the player again that I know I can be.

“The last couple of years, I was probably worrying about proving other people wrong and didn’t worry about proving things to myself. That’s been my main focus now, to believe in myself and not worry about what other people think.

“I feel awesome. Training with ‘Spudd’ has given me that extra confidence. He rips into me at training and pumps up my tyres. I just want to rip in and get a spot in that first 13. I can’t wait.

“I’m just so excited to be back in Sydney. I’m settled in and am going to a top-four team. I haven’t played since July. I had a month off and have been training ever since.

“My body feels really fresh. I’m holding 109kg pretty comfortably.”

Cartwright has been driving from Colyton in Sydney’s west to Darlinghurst in the east twice a week for sessions, which start at 6am. That’s a round trip of 100km.

A physical session on Monday was Cartwright’s 21st under Carroll’s watch.

Carroll contacted Cartwright’s manager Allan Gainey after reading a Daily Telegraph exclusive back-page story on September 21 that said Cartwright had been granted an early release from Gold Cast but wanted to continue his NRL career in Sydney.

"I wanted to get my hands on him so I rang up his manager and said if Bryce needed help, he should give me a ring,” Carroll said. “He called within 20 minutes and we started the next day.

“Bryce is a freak. At 26, he is built like granite. He is six foot, four inches and has every requirement to be a destroyer in the middle — and he is starting to believe that.

I’ve been giving it to him at the gym, old-school cardio stuff I learned off Dessie (Hasler). It is repetitive stuff at pace and with intensity.

All one-minute efforts, that’s what rugby league is. Six tackles, one minute, take a breath and go again. He will hit the ground running with fitness.”

Cartwright was named as a NSW development player in 2016 before his career flatlined at Penrith and then Gold Coast.

“Bryce has had a bit of pressure in his life,” Carroll said. “The interaction at the gym has been good for him. He has never once been late. We start a 6am but he always gets there five minutes early.

“He is getting up early to train. I’ve told him to seize the day. Bryce has been training with a couple of my dudes who can be a bit crazy and you can see he has changed. He looks you in the eye.

"I told (Eels coach) Brad Arthur you’re going to get a ‘good one’ if you sign him up. I don’t do that very often but I just think there is an opportunity for this kid because I hate seeing natural talent go to waste and he certainly has that.” 

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  • If Spud can make him a NRL level quality player again it'll be big kudos.

    • Spud is quickly developing a reputation for reviving careers many thought were dead

      • It's fair to say this is probably his last chance saloon - I doubt another NRL club would pick him up if he has a 2021 like the last few years he's had. The fact he rang Spud back within 20 minutes, has been doing regular 100 Km round trips to start training at 6am and has apparently been putting in the hard yards shows that he may have the right mindset just at the moment to succeed. The big question will be whether that current mindset will translate into on-field form over the tough week to week grind of NRL football. Like Spud says, he has any amount of natural talent, it appears a lot of his problems are between the ears. Maybe some of the stories he's hearing from the "dudes who can be a bit crazy" may be just what he needs. I'd love to see him get back to that form of 2016 or so - there's only 1 person that can stop him getting there and that's himself. It appears he's now concious of that, at 26 it's time he took responsibility for his actions (or lack of them in recent years) and takes this opportunity and runs with it.


        • Truth will be in the pudding.

          We will have an x factor  player again if he reaches the best he has been.

  • brissyeel: If he is training with Spud Carrol it is the best thing he has done in his sporting life. Spud took on Kane Evans in the last two years and transformed him from a has-been to a block selected on the bench in first grade every week. He scored four tries this year coming off the bench a good effort for a forward off the bench. Kane said Spud was the only one he listened to these days. If Spud did that to Evans he can do something for Cartwright. In fact, it would be a sensible move to have all the Eels forwards trained by Spud because they will learn nothing from Arthur. In fact, it would not hurt to have the top 30 odd players put under Spud. None of them would take a backwood step against foul play put upond them

    Itis up Cartwrigt to get his head right and profit from Spud`s work (assuming he is with the Eels of course)

    • He did a great job with Kane Evans. Truth be told. Saved his career I would say.

      • And Campbell Gillard.

    • I wonder if Spud eats potatoes.

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