The RFL has revealed that players and coaches from 13 clubs are in the running for the Betfred Championship and League 1 Awards in 2021.
Votes have been polled from the head coaches of the 14 clubs in the Betfred Championship, and the 10 in Betfred League 1, to produce shortlists of three candidates for each of six categories – Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year* and Coach of the Year in each competition.
The voting in the Player of the Year category in each competition was so tight that a shortlist of four has been announced.
The winners will be revealed in a Betfred Championship and League 1 Awards Special to be streamed on Our League next Wednesday evening (September 29) from 745pm – free to an Our League membership, which is now within a few hundred Rugby League fans of breaking the 200,000 barrier.
Batley Bulldogs and Featherstone Rovers each have two contenders in the Betfred Championship awards, with Bradford Bulls, Halifax Panthers, Oldham, Swinton Lions, Toulouse Olympique and Whitehaven also represented.
Toulouse’s captain Johnathon Ford is up against Batley’s Tom Gilmore and the Featherstone team-mates Craig Hall and James Harrison for the Player of the Year award.
The three nominees for the Coach of the Year award are all involved in this Saturday’s Elimination Play-Offs – Simon Grix of Halifax Panthers and Gary Charlton of Whitehaven, whose teams face each other at The Shay, and Batley’s Craig Lingard, whose Bulldogs host Bradford.
The Bulls forward Ebon Scurr is in the running for the Young Player of the Year award, but faces stiff competition from two players who have excelled in teams struggling at the wrong end of the table – Luis Roberts of Swinton Lions, and the Oldham prop Tyler Dupree.
In Betfred League 1, Workington Town have a nominee in each of the three categories, with Barrow Raiders, Coventry Bears, Keighley Cougars and North Wales Crusaders also represented.
Workington’s Jamie Doran is one of four contenders for the Player of the Year award with the Crusaders wing Rob Massam and two members of the Barrow team who have already sealed promotion and the League Leaders’ Shield – Jamie Dallimore and Tee Ritson.
Coventry’s Richard Squires is an eye-catching nominee for Coach of the Year alongside Workington’s Chris Thorman and Anthony Murray of the Crusaders.
Brad Holroyd is Workington’s nominee for the Young Player of the Year Award and is up against two Keighley Cougars players – Charlie Graham and Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e.
In addition to these six categories, there will be three more winners revealed next Wednesday night – with a Club of the Year to be rewarded in each division, for a combination of their on and off-field performance, and a new award, the Our League Entertainer of the Year, to be decided by the votes of Our League members when a six-man shortlist is announced next Monday.
*Eligibility for the Young Player of the Year Award in each competition required a minimum of 10 first-team appearances, and contenders had to have been 21 or under on January 1, 2021.
Betfred Championship Player of the Year
Johnathan Ford (Toulouse Olympique), Tom Gilmore (Batley Bulldogs), Craig Hall (Featherstone Rovers), James Harrison (Featherstone Rovers)
Betfred Championship Young Player of the Year
Tyler Dupree (Oldham), Luis Roberts (Swinton Lions), Ebon Scurr (Bradford Bulls)
Betfred Championship Coach of the Year
Gary Charlton (Whitehaven), Simon Grix (Halifax Panthers) Craig Lingard (Batley Bulldogs)
Betfred League 1 Player of the Year
Jamie Dallimore (Barrow Raiders), Jamie Doran (Workington Town), Rob Massam (North Wales Crusaders), Tee Ritson (Barrow Raiders)
Betfred League 1 Coach of the Year
Anthony Murray (North Wales Crusaders), Richard Squires (Coventry Bears), Chris Thorman (Workington Town)
Betfred League 1 Young Player of the Year
Charlie Graham (Keighley Cougars), Brad Holroyd (Workington Town), Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e (Keighley Cougars)