Gannon giving everything for Grand finale

Jim Gannon
Jim Gannon

Jim Gannon stands on the brink of retirement - and Halifax’s veteran forward believes that will give his game a unique edge during the Co-operative Championship play offs.

Gannon has been a professional for 15 years, first arriving at Halifax midway through 1999 to help plug the sizeable gap left by the man who now coaches him, Karl Harrison.

The Australian-born forward, who took British citizenship several years ago, went on to play for Huddersfield, Hull KR and Widnes before re-joining Fax 18 months ago, but has already confirmed this will be his last season.

“It’s certainly driving me at the moment,” said Gannon.

“We have a lot of younger players here, but there are some things you perhaps only realise in the twilight of your career, because you know that next year you won’t be out there.

“If you could turn back the clock, you remember times when maybe if I had done a bit more there, or pushed myself a bit harder in that game, then it might have been a different outcome.

“You don’t want to end up feeling that way about your last game.

“It was strange before the Keighley match last week; I finished work early and had an hour at home, and I did feel a bit nervous.

“Once I got out there and got involved, I settled down but it’s an odd feeling.

“I’ve played for 15 years and never made a Grand Final; I’ve played in a Challenge Cup final and a few Northern Rail ones, but that’s how I want to finish now.

“I’ll do everything I can to make it happen.”

The unfancied Cougars very nearly ended Gannon’s career, clinging on during a torrid first half to level at 26-26 before Lee Paterson’s last-play try set up Sunday’s showdown with Sheffield (1.30).

“I always thought we could pull something out of the bag, although I didn’t think it was going to be as spectacular as that,” said Gannon.

“We need to be better though: No disrespect to Keighley, but the teams we are hopefully going to come up against in the next few weeks offer a lot more in attack than they do.

“The league game against Batley had taken a lot out of me though, and I think a lot of the other boys too, and I think we paid for that on the short turnaround.

“We were a bit under-done and we compounded that with some silly decisions during the game.

“But it’s knockout footy and a win’s a win.”