THERE was no goal, man-of-the-match award or great fanfare, but that made it a fitting farewell for Shane Paul.
The 31-year-old, in his second stint with Broadmeadow, won a third grand final in four championship appearances for Magic when they won 3-0 over Edgeworth on Saturday night.
The tenacious ball-winning midfielder didn’t want a fuss made about his last game for the Northern NSW NPL club, and when coach Ruben Zadkovich asked him to shift to left-back to compensate for the loss of Jon Griffiths to suspension, Paul got on with the job.
“We wanted to do it for him,” Zadkovich said. “When we spoke about it before the game, we had 20 blokes looking at each other with tears welling up because we knew what it meant to people like him and Jon. We wanted to do it it for each other.
“He knows to put his teammates first. He was players’ player for two years before this one and I think that says everything. If you can get players' player at Magic, you're a good footballer but also a quality guy, and he was selfless again tonight.”
Paul, a grand final winner at Magic in 2011 and ’12, lives at Caves Beach and said the commute to training at Broadmeadow had become too much given his business and family commitments.
"When I came back I wanted to test myself after three years out of it, to have a crack and see if I can play, and it's worked out well,” Paul said. “It’s good, I couldn’t have scripted it any better. It's a good way to go out.”