The dominance of Leigh Centurions and Keighley Cougars in Betfred Championship and League One respectively has been recognised in the list of nominees for the end of season awards.
Leigh, who received the Betfred Championship League Leaders’ Shield yesterday after a record-breaking campaign in which they have won 26 games out of 27 and scored 1,306 points, have John Asiata and Edwin Ipape in the running for the Player of the Year award, while Adrian Lam is one of the three nominees for Coach of the Year.
Keighley, who have already secured promotion to the Championship in 2023 with a 100% record from their 20 fixtures in Betfred League One, also have two contenders for Player of the Year in that competition – Mo Agoro and Jack Miller – with Rhys Lovegrove in contention for Coach of the Year.
However a total of 10 other clubs also have at least one nominee – five in each division – ensuring there will be plenty of interest when the awards are handed out in the Howard Suite at Headingley on Monday September 26 – in a ceremony that will be streamed live on the RFL’s Our League web and app.
Halifax Panthers, who have finished third in the Championship, have their scrum half Joe Keyes nominated for Player of the Year, with Simon Grix in the running for Coach of the Year.
Barrow Raiders, who have finished fourth in an impressive season back in the Championship after securing promotion from League One last year, have their prolific wing Tee Ritson in the running for Player of the Year, and Paul Crarey completing the list of nominations for Coach of the Year.
Sam Eseh, who has also played for Barrow this season but has been starring for Featherstone Rovers in the countdown to the Play-Offs, is one of three nominees to be Young Player of the Year, alongside Oli Leyland of London Broncos and AJ Towse of York City Knights.
In Betfred League One, North Wales Crusaders have Gavin Rodden nominated for Player of the Year, and Anthony Murray in contention to retain the Coach of the Year award he won in 2021.
George Roby of Swinton Lions and Leon Ruan of Doncaster, whose clubs meet in the Qualifying Semi Final this Sunday, are in contention for the Young Player of the Year award with Cian Tyrer of Rochdale Hornets, who go to North Wales in the Elimination Semi Final.
Joe Mbu is the third nominee as Betfred League One Coach of the Year, alongside Lovegrove and Murray, after his successful return to London Skolars this season.
Voting for all the awards has been conducted by a poll of the head coaches in each competition, producing a top three in each category.
(There are four nominees for the Championship Player of the Year because two players were level in third)
Three other awards will be presented on the night – the Foundation of the Year across both the Championship and League One competitions, and the Club of the Year in each competition, which is awarded to recognise success on and off the field.
Nominees (all listed in alphabetical order)
Betfred Championship Player of the Year
John Asiata (Leigh Centurions)
Edwin Ipape (Leigh Centurions)
Joe Keyes (Halifax Panthers)
Tee Ritson (Barrow Raiders)
Betfred Championship Young Player of the Year
Sam Eseh (Featherstone Rovers / Barrow Raiders)
Oli Leyland (London Broncos)
AJ Towse (York City Knights)
Betfred Championship Coach of the Year
Paul Crarey (Barrow Raiders)
Simon Grix (Halifax Panthers)
Adrian Lam (Leigh Centurions)
Betfred League One Player of the Year
Mo Agoro (Keighley Cougars)
Jack Miller (Keighley Cougars)
Gavin Rodden (North Wales Crusaders)
Betfred League One Young Player of the Year
George Roby (Swinton Lions)
Leon Ruan (Doncaster)
Cian Tyrer (Rochdale Hornets)
Betfred League One Coach of the Year
Rhys Lovegrove (Keighley Cougars)
Joe Mbu (London Skolars)
Anthony Murray (North Wales Crusaders)
By Joshua Chapman