Castleford Tigers halfback Jake Trueman will enter his second season as a regular first-grader on the back of an outstanding breakthrough year in 2018.
Trueman, 19, won the Albert Goldthorpe Rookie of the Year Medal, before going on to win the Super League Young Player of the Year award.
And now he has won the League Express Readers’ Poll vote as Super League’s Young Player of the Year, picking up 534 of the 1,240 votes cast for 43.1 per cent of the total number of votes cast, comfortably beating Leeds’ Rhinos Jack Walker into second place.
Trueman played in 28 of the Tigers’ 32 matches during the season, after having played just three matches in 2017, which included a 20-38 victory at Wigan in which Trueman scored three tries.
In the early part of the season his appearances were largely at fullback, but after Luke Gale suffered a serious knee injury against Wakefield at the end of April he moved into the halves and cemented a place there for the remainder of the season.
“I would like to thank the readers for voting for me and I hope I can build on this season so that it will be even better in 2019,” Trueman told League Express.
“I’m hoping to be able to play alongside Luke Gale and to develop a successful partnership with him.”
The biggest disappointment for Trueman in 2018 was missing the Tigers’ semi-final visit to Wigan in September with a broken hand, with the Tigers going down 14-0 and missing out on Old Trafford.
“I was gutted about missing the semi-final, especially as I had scored three tries there the year before,” he added, while confirming that he expects to be back in action before the start of the new season.
“The hand is good now and I should be available for the friendly against Leeds (on Sunday 20 January),” said Trueman.
“If I’m selected I’ll look forward to playing at Headingley on that day. I’ve seen pictures of Leeds’ redeveloped stadium and it looks good.
“My hand was in a pot for eight weeks. But for the last week I’ve been training fully and it’s been a hard pre-season so far.
“I think Daryl was upset that we didn’t perform in the crucial games in 2018 and we are confident we will make the top five in 2019 and make a genuine bid to reach both Old Trafford and Wembley. The last few years have seen Castleford’s rise to prominence and I think we’ll be strong contenders for every trophy in 2019.”