Castleford Tigers halfback Luke Gale has won this season’s Albert Goldthorpe Medal.
With two rounds of Super League remaining, Gale is in an unassailable position with 36 points, eight points ahead of second placed Huddersfield Giants captain Danny Brough, who has won the Albert Goldthorpe Medal for the last two seasons.
In recognition of his achievement Gale will receive a solid gold inscribed medal and a cheque to the value of £2,000.
He is the second Castleford player to have won the award, following Rangi Chase’s success in 2011.
“I’m excited and thrilled to win the award and to get a bit of recognition,” Gale told League Express.
“I want to say thanks to all the lads I play with, because this is their award as much as mine. As a halfback my job is quite easy if my team is on the front foot.
“It’s me getting the accolade but the boys have enabled me to win it.”
Gale joined the Tigers from Bradford Bulls at the start of the season and he credits the move as a key factor in his success.
“The move to Castleford was a brilliant move,” he said.
” I was keen to play for Daryl Powell, but it took me four or five games for the penny to drop about how he wanted me to play.
“But the other key factor is that Ryan Sheridan and Danny Orr, who were both top halfbacks when they played, and they were both great to work with.
“In effect it is a form of one-on-one coaching and it has certainly added more strings to my bow, while I have learned from Daryl to play with a bit more patience, and he tidied me up as a professional.
“I feel like I’ve come on leaps and bounds this season, and I’m thrilled to win this medal. It means a great deal.”
Gale’s Castleford team-mate Andy Lynch has backed Gale for a shot with England against the Kiwis in November. Lynch believes that Gale is more than worthy of a chance in Steve McNamara’s squad ahead of this autumn’s international programme. “He’s been very good for us this season,”
Lynch told Total Rugby League. “He started slowly but he was coming into a new environment, so that’s expected, and you could see from his performance on Thursday that he’s a big player for us who’s been doing really well. He got us back into the game.