Premiership winning Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has revealed he considered quitting the NRL altogether during his 12 month suspension from the game in 2014.
Flanagan will forever be remembered as the first coach to lead Cronulla to a premiership win after they defeated Melbourne 14-12 in the NRL grand final at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
The former first grade hooker is a plumber by trade and considered falling back on that during the toughest time of his career.
“There were times there when I was thinking ‘this is not me, why me?’, I was feeling sorry for myself and wanted to walk away from the game,” Flanagan said.
“I thought about going back to plumbing.
“But I did feel I had some unfinished business. I wasn’t silly enough to think I would be sitting here (as a premiership winning coach) but there was something there.
“What I did know is that I had been in the game for 20 years as a player and coach.
“I always had faith in the playing group we assembled.”
Sharks skipper Paul Gallen, who served an ASADA suspension in 2014, said it was Flanagan’s plumbing background that helped him to excel as a coach.
“Those days were really hard,” Gallen said.
“We can’t change what happened but thankfully we came back.
“I really do think of Flanno as a tradesman.
“That’s how he goes about his job. He doesn’t wear good clothes and he goes down to the pub and had a beer just about every night.
“That’s just the way he is and that is the way he approaches his coaching.”