JAMES Maloney wants to become a coach once his fantastic playing career is over.
Whether that is in France, where he is with Catalans, elsewhere in Super League or Australia depends on whether his family can live on the money.
Veteran Aussie half-back Maloney is out of contract at the end of next season, when he will be 36-years-old.
And he already has an eye on his next step, following Dragons boss Steve McNamara into the coaching world.
Where that is, though, remains to be seen.
“I want to go into coaching in some capacity,” Maloney said. “Where that is depends on what crops up I guess.
“I tried to do my coaching badges in Australia but I need to check whether it’s the same qualification over here – I think France is different but I’m not sure about the English one.
“Back home, it’s something like a two-day course, so if I do head back I can get that done pretty quickly. If I can get it done while I’m here, I’ll probably do that.
“I haven’t really thought too much about whether to stay in France. It depends. We need money to stay here and if we can earn enough on one wage, it’s an option.
“I’m not in a real rush to decide. We’ll work it out when we need to.”
Maloney, now 34, has been a hit after ending a stellar NRL career, that saw him play State of Origin for New South Wales and Tests for Australia and moving to France.
While his French is not as good as his children’s – they go to French schools and are fluent – he spent lockdown by exploring new areas of the country.
He added: “Last year when the league was shut down, the family and I went for 10 days in a camper van around France.
“We saw some pretty cool places. We had a ball doing that.
“I love it here. Obviously the circumstances are different to normal but we’re making the most of it and hopefully we can go back to a more normal lifestyle soon.
“I didn’t have that many expectations of life in France before I came but we’ve enjoyed it. The kids speak really good French, a lot better than the wife and I.
“I’ve no idea of a date when fans will be allowed back in here but it will be great to have an atmosphere again. I wouldn’t care of they were cheering or booing!
“I get a little envious when I see crowds at stadia back home. It’s not that fun running out in empty grounds.”
Maloney has played a big part in Catalans’ unbeaten start to the season, which goes on with their second home match in succession against Warrington today.
But he is under no illusions, this will be a step up and a true test of where they stand.
“We’re going all right but haven’t played any of the real top side yet,” he conceded. “We’re not getting carried away but we’re heading in the right direction.
“There’s still little bits of improvement that will need to happen but at the moment it’s a happy camp.
“We’re in a really good position but I expect a step up against Warrington, 100 per cent. This will give us a better look at where we’re going.
“I played against both Blake Austin and Gareth Widdop in the NRL. Both have had a lot of success and it’ll be tough but it’s nice that for the second week in a row we don’t have to get on a plane and fly out.
“Playing at home makes things easier, when we fly out we miss a day’s training as we don’t get home until midnight or 1am, you can’t do anything the next day.”
One player Maloney will not face is Greg Inglis, who should make his eagerly-awaited Warrington debut against Hull KR next week.
And after facing him in the NRL and State of Origin, he is not exactly downhearted.
“It’s exciting to have Greg in the competition,” he told SunSport about the Aussie legend. “He’s a pretty handy pick-up.
“He’s tough to face. You only have to see some of his highlights to see how good he can be. He’ll definitely be a handful.”
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