When Shellharbour City Sharks’ Adam Taylor left the field for the final time on Saturday, it was the end of an era for one of the Sharks longest serving players.
But the decision to retire was a tough one for 34-year-old Taylor, who played around 180 junior and more than 200 senior games for the lively hooker and half-back.
“I own my own concreting business and found that over the past couple of seasons got less and less work done on Monday and Tuesday’s as it took me longer and longer to recover from weekend games, so in the end the decision was fairly easy,” Taylor said.
“I’m afraid my body just wasn’t holding up.”
As expected in such a long career, there were many highlights, including a first grade premiership in 2001 and six reserve grade titles in a golden era for the Sharks, while his first grade Player of the Year award in 2002 standing out.
“It’s really hard to pin-point highlights over such a long career, but that Player of the Year award was definitely a big one.”
While his playing career was a long and successful one, Taylor has also tasted plenty of success as a coach, piloting one of the club’s most successful groups of youngsters to three premierships.
“I coached the Sharks to the merged Illawarra-South Coast under-16s title and then the same group of boys to successive under-18 premierships in the Illawarra competition and four of those boys are now playing in the National Youth Cup for the Dragons, something I am extremely proud of.”
With his family in attendance, Saturday’s reserve grade game against Helensburgh was a bitter-sweet, with his Sharks side failing to make the semi-finals, a rarity for the club.
“This is the first time since I have been in grade at Shellharbour that we haven’t made the reserve grade semis, but that’s the way it goes and I really can’t complain,” he said.