“HE won it hands down – that shows the respect his peers have for him.”
So said head coach Gary Thornton of Jack Aldous as the dynamic prop forward was named York City Knights’ Player of the Year last night.
The club’s presentation ceremony took place at the Park Inn Radison and marked a successful regular season in which they are almost certain to finish top of Championship One with one game to go. As such, they get an advantage in the play-offs, the winners of which are the only team to go up to the new-look Championship division next year.
Aldous picked up the most prestigious accolade of the evening, the one voted for by the players themselves.
“His contribution to games is clear for all to see,” said Thornton of the 23-year-old, who also currently sits joint-top of The Press Player of the Year standings, an award he also won in his first season at the club in 2012.
“He goes out there and leaves nothing on the pitch, and puts his heart and soul into it for the team. It’s so admirable.”
The Knights are currently on a club record nine-match winning sequence, and Thornton has often said a key factor in that run has been the form of the front-rowers - such as Brad Brennan and Colton Roche, both of whom joined midway through the campaign, and Aldous, now in his third full season at Huntington Stadium.
“Colton and Brad are different types of players (to Aldous). They’re bigger and more explosive, and what they’ve brought us has been brilliant,” said the coach.
“But then consider Jack’s workload and work ethic – he’s doing 70-75 minutes every week. Not many props in the modern game do that.
“He doesn’t have that size but that work-rate, his tackling, the fact he’s largely error free, everything he does – it’s phenomenal at times.
“I think he’s been the standout prop in the division all year.”
Thornton added: “The players know what it’s like to play alongside Jack.”
Other award winners at last night’s black tie event were Pat Smith, Ed Smith, Ben Dent, Roche, and Clubperson of the Year Will Leatt.