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Garreth Carvell hopes to get Grand Final nod before leaving Warrington Wolves
GARRETH Carvell knows what it is like to be on the wrong end of a Tony Smith selection decision.
Such is the strength of the squad, the England international missed out on the Grand Final last year.
Richie Myler, Simon Grix, Tyrone McCarthy and Mike Cooper have also experienced failing to get the nod on big-stage occasions, while on Thursday night it was veteran full back Brett Hodgson who was sidelined.
Carvell put an arm of comfort around Hodgson after the hooter sounded on the semi-final win, while he could have been forgiven for thinking during the game that he had to make a point in his performance against Huddersfield in order to catch Smith’s eye for Old Trafford this time round.
But the 32-year-old front rower, in his 17th year of top-flight rugby league, said impressing the boss is something that has to be done every week.
“Tony doesn’t pick players because of their name or the number they wear, he picks players who are playing well and he’s always done that,” said the former Leeds and Hull prop.
“He doesn’t hide the fact that he does that and he doesn’t shy away from the big decisions either.
“If you don’t perform, you don’t play – so every week everyone wants to perform and I think that’s how he gets the best out of his team.
“It’s good to be under that pressure and to know you are fighting for your place every week.”
He continued: “It was so disappointing to not get picked for the semi final and Grand Final last year.
“You learn by these things and come back stronger. That’s all you can do, there’s no point sulking.
“I’m just glad to be in contention for a place this time.”
Carvell, a defeated Grand Finalist with Hull in 2006, was not offered a contract with Wolves for 2014, hence his move to Bradford Bulls after Saturday’s game.
“Finishing on a high would mean so much,” said Carvell, who has has cherished his five years with the club and made Warrington his family’s home.
“That’s what every team works for. We wanted to do the double by winning the Challenge Cup as well but that slipped away from us.
“We’ve got a chance now to redeem ourselves in the Grand Final with a great win.”
Carvell believes he still has a lot to offer despite not being kept on by Wolves but he holds no grudges.
“Tony’s paid to make these decisions and I’ll stand by him and say that he’s made the right one if he feels it’s right,” he said.
“He wants to bring young players through and it’s great for the sport if these young players are going to get a chance.
“I think the ethos that Tony has is to have a team of home-grown players, who know exactly how we want to approach things. If I’ve got to stand aside to let people do that then so be it. It’s just good to see the club on the up and I’m sure they’ll succeed in the future too.”
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