IT WAS the day that many basketball fans didn’t want to see happening but on Saturday last in the cauldron of the National Basketball Arena, Blue Demons' Shane Coughlan bowed out of the sport in a winning note.
Coughlan has represented his beloved club that saw him win nine cup medals and three league titles.
Ranked by many as the most talented player that Demons ever produced Coughlan was never a man who wanted to hog the headlines.
As a raw seven-year-old he was given the perfect start to his career when attending Demons nursery under Seanie Murphy,
The skills of Coughlan were noticeable as a juvenile when he was MVP of the Billy Kelly tournament twice.
Looking back on his illustrious career Coughlan felt the honour of representing your club should be every players priority.
“I think it’s a major problem in the present climate where players only think about their own stats and have little thought about the club they represent,” Shane Coughlan said.
When Shane captained Demons in the 2014/15 season to the treble that saw them go through the season unbeaten it was the first time any side had achieved that feat.
Shortly after travelling to China he walked away from playing Super League as opposing clubs around the country rejoiced.
The reason given was at 36 Coughlan couldn’t accept been a part player after getting little or no time playing with the Irish selection in China.
“I had worked so hard over the season to win the treble and in the summer and whether the coaching staff thought they were giving me a junket they certainly didn’t know our understand the real Shane Coughlan,” added Coughlan.
Many in the sport felt Coughlan although 36 retired from Super League too soon but in his own words he still feels it was the right decision.
“My job as an industrial electrician is not an easy one as I was travelling up from Mallow three times a week and that takes some commitment.
“Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it because when you play Super League it basically takes over your life.”
To play 18 years at the Super League and get consecutive MVP awards in cup finals is some achievement as he fondly remembered the successful years with Demons.
“I had the honour to play with some great Irish and American players but for me when Niall O’Reilly signed for us he was a major coup.
“What I liked about Niall was his reading of the game and to be honest he was crucial to us in our glory years.”
The debate about the quality Americans is always interesting as Coughlan gave his views on the professionals he graced the court with.
“When there was two Americans in teams I think in different eras James Singleton and Patrick Pope were go to players that would win you games when they were on the line.=
“In recent years I have say Lehmon Colbert was excellent as he could post and pass and I really enjoyed playing with him.”
Last season Coughlan had to dust his boots again as Demons entered a team in the Intermediate National cup that they ended up winning.
“We trained a little and ended up winning it but I have to admit it’s a big drop down from Super League but the crack was mighty.”
Naturally Coughlan was called on again this season to join the squad but in his own words it was far tougher in this campaign.
“Circumstances between work and other commitments restricted me from doing the training I would have liked but I soldiered on with Shane McCarthy another skilful and intelligent player.”
Last Saturday Coughlan helped Demons retain the Men’s Intermediate cup that proved to be the swansong.
“After the game the young lads were saying you have to stay on a try help us win three a row but genuinely I think it’s time for me to end on a winning note."
Shane’s beautiful wife Allision, sister Deborah and parents Peter and Vera were all in Dublin on Saturday to witness another masterclass from the maestro.
It was the fitting farewell for the Demons legend.