Coulter hints at departure
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
DOWN star and Newry Democrat columnist Benny Coulter has hinted that he may have played his last game for his beloved county after Sunday's disappointing defeat to Kildare.
Coulter was in inspirational form immediately after the re-start on Sunday and carried his side from being five points down to being level within seven minutes.
In his column Coulter writes: "As I write this column my heart and soul is hurting with disappointment after going out of the championship in what is probably the last ever game I will play for Down."
And Coulter insists that the supporters who have stuck with him over the past 15 years playing with Down will be the first to know his decision.
“Lastly I would just like to thank the Down supporters who again have been simply amazing to us this year and always stick by this team through thick and thin.
“At times we are not a great team to support because of our inconsistency but hopefully that will change in the near future.
“Regarding my future I will not be making any rash decisions but when I decide on what to do the Down supporters will certainly be the first to know," said Coulter.
The Mayobridge talisman has been a majestic player for the Mourne County since making his introduction as an 18-year-old in 1999. Later that year he won an All-Ireland Minor title but silverware with Down seniors has been scarce.
An All-Star winner in 2010 , the year Down reached the All-Ireland Final, Coulter has always been a proud gaelic footballer when playing for his club Mayobridge and Down. He also has the honour of representing Ireland five times in the International Rules as well as having played for Ulster in the Railway Cup on four occasions.
In his Newry Democrat column Oisin McConville has called on Coulter to stay with the Mourne men.
McConville writes: "Obviously when a team goes out of the Championship thoughts go to whether manager James McCartan will leave or stay, or what players might retire.
“Benny Coulter should not retire. He proved this season more than any that he is still their leading light.
“On Sunday he kick-started the fight-back against Kildare and in the Ulster Championship in the opening round he single-handedly brought the fight to Tyrone, but Down just couldn't kill them off in Healy Park."
Down boss James McCartan has suggested he may leave after four years in charge but said he will make his decision at a later date.
SEE PAGES 44 & 45 for match report and reaction
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