Outlaws all-rounder Paul Coughlin has revealed how he was left contemplating his cricketing future after two horrific injuries in the space of two years.
In the latest episode of All In, the 26-year-old opened up about his tribulations since signing for Nottinghamshire in the winter of 2017/18.
Coughlin had yet to pull on a Nottinghamshire shirt when he had to undergo shoulder reconstruction surgery after injuring himself in the field with the England Lions.
After this caused him to miss the majority of the 2018 season, he broke his finger in the opening Championship match of this summer, before pulling his hamstring when looking for a quick single in his only 50-over appearance this year against Worcestershire.
“There’s been times when I have sat at home and questioned if what I’m doing is the right thing to do,” said Coughlin.
“Honestly, I’ve been in headspaces that I never thought I would be in. I’ve questioned if cricket is what I want to do; if it’s how I want to move forward with life.
“I’ve come through that now and you end up in such a good mental state as, after going through something so tough, you end up realising that you definitely want to do this.
“The last two years have been pretty bad injuries one after another,” he added.
“Thankfully, without knowing before I actually came, I had some great people around me at the Club that fully understood and did the best they could to make me feel comfortable in a new environment.
“Things happen like that and everyone understood but it doesn’t take away the frustration on my behalf or that of anyone else. It wasn’t ideal for anyone.”
Elsewhere in episode six, All In focuses on the story of success from Nottinghamshire’s second team in T20 cricket this summer.
The side will travel to Arundel on Thursday to take part in Finals Day, with Academy player Chris Gibson excited at the chance of landing some silverware.
“The seconds have had a really good year in T20 cricket. With what happened last year, when we didn’t perform anywhere near our best, to have the year we have had this summer has been really exciting,” he said.
“We have the same core of five to six Academy players that have played for the past couple of years and then you get one of the first teamers come in with all of their experience.
“Sometimes they will help the team out massively with their performance, but also with advice as well.
“The challenge for us will be to continue what we are doing, as we have been playing quite an aggressive brand of cricket in a bid to mirror the first team.”
Meanwhile, one man who is fully aware of how second team performances can be a springboard for success, Jack Blatherwick, has charted how he came to be an Outlaw.
“I had always been in the Notts set-up as a youngster but I was dropped at U15s and went and played with my local club side, Kimberley,” he said.
“I had a fairly good season and I think Franksie (Paul Franks) came down to one of our training sessions and saw me bowl.
“Ever since then I got into the U17s, did well and signed onto the Academy that year so everything went pretty fast.
“As an Academy lad you always think to yourself ‘am I good enough’ whereas you have a different view on things when you turn professional.
“When you’re in the Academy, you look up to the professionals and try to model yourself on them, but now there’s more pressure as you’re expected to perform, which I think brings out the best in me.”
Watch the full video above.
There are three further opportunities to catch the Outlaws in T20 action at Trent Bridge this summer, with the next home game under the lights against Derbyshire Falcons on Friday 16 August.