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Betfred Championship and League 1 award winners announced

Toulouse Olympique full-back Mark Kheirallah was tonight (Tuesday, September 25) crowned Betfred Championship Player of the Year for 2018.

Kheirallah finished the regular Betfred Championship season as top points scorer, crossing for 20 tries and scoring 127 goals in 2018. He has played a huge part in Toulouse Olympique’s march into the Super 8s The Qualifiers and their fight for promotion to Betfred Super League.

He secured the award ahead of fellow Toulouse player Johnathon Ford, Halifax RLFC Captain Scott Murrell and Featherstone Rovers’ winger Luke Briscoe.

The 28-year-old received his award at the Betfred Championship and League 1 Awards at The Principal Hotel, Manchester, where many of the other stars of the 2018 season were honoured.

In his first year as coach of London Broncos, Danny Ward was voted the Betfred Championship Coach of the Year after his side secured a 2018 Qualifiers position and are still in the running for a return to Betfred Super League. Voted for by his fellow coaches, Ward beat off competition from Halifax RLFC’s Richard Marshall and Sylvain Houles of Toulouse Olympique XIII.

Sheffield Eagles’ Matt Costello scooped the Betfred Championship Young Player of the Year, ahead of Harry Newman of Featherstone Rovers and Halifax RLFC’s Brandon Moore.

York City Knights had plenty to celebrate as scrum-half Connor Robinson was named Betfred League 1 Player of the Year and James Ford won the Betfred League 1 Coach of the Year award.

Robinson has been key to the Knights’ campaign for promotion and ended the season as top goal and overall points scorer in League 1 this year. He secured the coveted prize ahead of fellow York City Knights’ player Ben Cockayne, Workington Town’s Sean Penkywicz and Dane Chisholm of Bradford Bulls.

James Ford beat Bradford Bulls’ John Kear and Leon Pryce of Workington Town to the Betfred League 1 Coach of the Year. Nominated for the award in 2017, Ford has led his side in their fight for promotion which has seen the club defeated just twice in the league, the last time in April 2018.

Ethan Ryan of Bradford Bulls was named Betfred League 1 Young Player of the Year, fending off strong competition from team mate Brandon Pickersgill and York City Knights’ Judah Mazive.

Betfred Championship Club of the Year was awarded to Toronto Wolfpack. In only their second season since formation, they dominated the Betfred Championship and lifted the League Leader’s shield in July. They’ve continued to draw in large crowds to their home games in Canada and captivate a new audience in North America.

The Betfred League 1 Club of the Year award was presented to York City Knights as recognition for their accomplishments both on and off the field this season. The Knights successfully secured promotion to the Betfred Championship for 2019 and have engaged with the local community through unique campaigns to engage with new supporters and increase crowds this year.

The Project of the Year award recognises a club across both leagues who has shown an outstanding commitment to meeting the objectives of raising the visibility and profile of the competition and increasing attendance at one or more games through a special project.

London Broncos were this year’s winners of the Project of the Year Award for Championship and League 1 for their alliance with Featherstone School Sports Partnership delivering programmes within primary schools in Ealing to improve numeracy and literacy and emotional and physical wellbeing.

Using the values and ethos of Rugby League, London Broncos encouraged students who were finding the transition to secondary school difficult to utilise personal skills learnt to improve their self-confidence and showed the importance of physical activity to personal and mental well-being. They also worked to support students with numeracy and literacy in a way they could relate too, rather than the traditional classroom format.

The project was chosen for the award as it had clear long-term vision, targets and outcomes which London Broncos are tracking and delivering against.

The Foundation of the Year award, which is awarded to the best foundation in both leagues, was presented to York City Knights. They have made real strides through a range of educational, community and health programmes and were commended for their work in equality and diversity and the impact they are having on supporting the development of the Women and Girl’s game.

Ben Moorhouse was named as the 2018 Supporters Direct Community Champion. He lives and breathes The Steve Prescott Foundation and over the last four years has undertaken a series of Extreme Challenge Walks raising an impressive £11,300. Despite working full time, Ben has dedicated every spare moment to promoting the foundation both in the UK and overseas and received an overwhelming amount of nominations for the award.

The player of the year, coach of the year and young player of the year award winners are selected by a poll of every coach in the Betfred Championship and League 1. The Club of the Year and Project of the Year awards are determined by the Rugby Football League Board, whilst the Foundation of the Year is selected by Rugby League Cares.

The 2018 Betfred Championship and League 1 award winners in full are as follows:

  • Championship Player of the Year: Mark Kheirallah (Toulouse Olympique XIII)

  • Championship Young Player of the Year: Matt Costello (Sheffield Eagles)

  • Championship Coach of the Year: Danny Ward (London Broncos)

  • League 1 Player of the Year: Connor Robinson (York City Knights)

  • League 1 Young Player of the Year: Ethan Ryan (Bradford Bulls)

  • League 1 Coach of the Year: James Ford (York City Knights)

  • Championship Club of the Year: Toronto Wolfpack

  • League 1 Club of the Year: York City Knights

  • Project of the Year: London Broncos

  • Foundation of the Year: York City Knights

  • Supporters Direct Community Champion: Ben Moorhouse

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AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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