Deacs may play on

Paul Deacon
Paul Deacon

EVERGREEN Paul Deacon has revealed he may play on beyond the end of 2011.

The veteran half-back played a key role in Wigan’s Grand Final assault last season, and was rewarded for his form with a new one-year deal.

That saw him defer a planned move into coaching, and his new contract included a three-year arrangement as an assistant coach to start from the beginning of 2012.

But Deacon may yet again delay his move into coaching if his body holds up well and Wigan are happy for him to continue playing.

“I’m not definitely retiring next year,” he revealed. “Never say never.

“I’ll wait and see how the season goes and see what the club wants.

“Who knows? It may end up being my last season but I’m not going to make that decision yet.

“We’ll wait until later in the season, see how I feel, see what Wigan want to do and go from there.

“We’ll wait and see.

“I just want to do a job for the team next season, I’m still enjoying it and that was a big factor in my decision to play on.

“You’re a long time retired, and the enjoyment I had last year was great – not just with the Grand Final but all season – and I wanted to carry that on.”

Deacon was Michael Maguire’s only signing for last season and made 20 appearances, despite being hampered by a groin problem mid-season.

A shrewd tactical kicker and organiser, his wealth of experience comes from more than a decade at the Bradford Bulls.

He and the rest of the Wigan players are enjoying a week-long Christmas break with their families before resuming training in January.

The squad spent three days training with the Royal Marine Commandos in Scotland earlier this month and Deacon added: “That was very tough.

“It’s not nice when you’re going through it.

“However, when you look back on it, we’re all a lot tougher for the whole experience.

“It was like one big long day.

“I didn’t sleep at all the first night and the sleep deprivation was very tough.

“It was 100mph from start to finish.

“Training’s been as tough as it’s ever been but it’s good as well, because you know you’re going to be fit at the end of it.

“It gives you a lot of confidence as a player, that you’ve trained hard and you’re in good shape.”