HEAD coach James Ford praised old head Tim Spears' willingness to keep learning new tricks, after the veteran loose-forward was voted The Press Player of the Month for April.

Spears, the former Featherstone captain and four-time table-topping Championship star who stepped down to League One this year, topped our monthly poll which took in the sorry defeat at Oxford, the uplifting win over Doncaster and the controversial Challenge Cup loss to Barrow.

Ford said the April accolade was richly deserved, not only for his performances on the pitch but his influence off it.

"I'm really pleased for Tim that he's been recognised not only for the considerable hard work he puts in during a game but also his application and leadership in our practice," he said.

"He's playing a big role in other players' development while also playing to a very good level himself.

"His defensive energy is up there with the best in the league, he's very disciplined in terms of sticking to game-plans, which is a massive positive for me, and his mental qualities are right up there - when he plays there's more tenacity and energy about the team.

"It's also really pleasing to see him still improving even at the age of 32.

"We're improving his passing game, his recognition of which defenders to play and his execution.

"Even with his status and experience, he's still improving and that's a great example for all the players at the club."

TIM Spears' Player of the Month award also puts him top of The Press Player of the Year leaderboard.

He had joined skipper Ed Smith at the summit after the latest table update and now goes clear thanks to the three points on offer for the April accolade.

The other big movers this week were stand-off Liam Harris, who was our man of the match in last week's comprehensive win at Gloucestershire All Golds.

Nick Rawsthorne was mightily unlucky to miss out on that award after his super four-try show but he at least gets two player-of-the-year points as our second-best performer on the day and thus gets onto the leaderboard. Likewise big Bobby Tyson-Wilson (1pt) who was our third-best performer in arguably the most complete team show so far this term.

Press Player of the Year standings: Spears 11, E Smith 8, Robinson 7, Porter 6, Robson 5, Batchelor 4, Harris 4, Hey 3, H Tyson-Wilson 3, Moran 3, Siddons 3, Carter 2, Haynes 2, Rawsthorne 2, Ellis 1, Presley 1, B Tyson-Wilson 1.