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Michael Monaghan postpones retirement to continue Warrington Wolves partnership with Micky Higham
MICHAEL Monaghan’s steely determination will lead the way for Wolves on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old has been displaying it in droves all season because at one stage it looked like his career might be over.
But he has gritted his teeth and now, with a further one-year’s contract in the bag, he has shown in the play-offs he is hitting form at the right time and will be a key weapon in unlocking the Wigan Warriors defence.
“Midway through the year I’d pretty much decided and told the club I was going to finish up,” said Monaghan, now in his sixth primrose-and-blue campaign.
“It’s hard when your shoulders or knees aren’t working to get through your training and make sure you prepare for games.
“Mid-year, I was bailing through training sessions and just didn’t think I was meriting my place in the team.
“I’d had a few concussions and I think that was really affecting me the most. I had a lot of knocks and at my age it takes a bit out of you.
“But the medical staff were great with me and helped me get over those things. No stone has been left unturned to find ways to help me to get my body in the right shape to play.
“I’ve found some ways to manage my training and my performances a little better.
“I feel now I am warranting my place in the team and starting to find some of the form that I used to take for granted.
“With regards to next year, I spoke to Tony Smith and he thought I still had a bit to offer both the club as a leader and just as a player.
“I’m definitely glad now that I’m going to be staying for another year. The way I feel like I’m starting to get my performances together, I’d have probably been disappointed to finish up knowing I could still perform a bit.”
And he says the displays of Micky Higham have made a difference to his ability to contribute.
There has been a role reversal, with Higham now the one who starts matches at their highest intensity, with Monaghan coming off the bench midway through the first half to make an impact against wearier opponents.
“It sets up a platform for me to come on and work on the back of what he achieves,” said Monaghan.
“We’ve found a balance, we’re both offering a lot that works for the team.
“I think we both offer different things and he’s getting all the plaudits this year for the way he’s played.
“But he’s done it for the past three or four years and it’s only now he’s getting the recognition he deserves.
“We’re pretty tight, we both try and help each other as much as possible and if we both play well we’re happy.
“I think we’re both doing a really good job at the moment and hopefully it continues on Saturday night.”
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