Hardaker takes home two trophies from Castleford awards night

Castleford Tigers' 2017 players' player of the year Zak Hardaker is presented with his trophy by club sponsors 5 Star Commercial Cleaning Services. Picture: Craig Milner
Castleford Tigers' 2017 players' player of the year Zak Hardaker is presented with his trophy by club sponsors 5 Star Commercial Cleaning Services. Picture: Craig Milner

Zak Hardaker was a double award winner as Castleford Tigers celebrated their 2017 season at the club’s annual presentation evening.

The former Man of Steel, signed from Leeds Rhinos this year, received the Castleford Tigers’ player of the year award after an impressive first year at the club.

The England candidate also picked up the players’ player of the year at the event held in front of 480 guests at the Elland Road Centenary Pavilion.

Grant Millington was runner-up in the player of the year voting with Luke Gale and Paul McShane in joint third place while directors’ player of the year was Jake Webster and young player of the year Greg Minikin.

Fans’ player of the year, as voted for week by week on the club’s social media channels, was Ben Roberts.

A special presentation was made to Luke Gale – back on his feet following his appendix removal – of the Albert Goldthorpe Medal he has now won three years in a row.

The highlight of the evening was an emotional farewell to Andy Lynch who will retire at the end of this season after an outstanding career.

The whole room were on their feet to witness an emotional highlights reel spanning Andy’s amazing career, complete with farewell wishes from some greats of the game, including Castleford legend Adrian Vowles.

The Tigers Academy under 19s team were also celebrated after their fantastic season where they finished second in the league and made it to the Academy Grand Final for the first time since 2004.

Academy player awards winners were:

Academy shooting star – Robbie Storey.

Academy most improved player – Luis Johnson.

Academy coaches player of the year – Pat Diskin.

Academy players’ player of the year – Jake Trueman.

Tigers head coach Daryl Powell spoke of his pride at such an impressive awards night event.

He said: “It was a superb night. Michelle Cooper and Chris Powell did an outstanding job.

“It was well presented by James Deighton and Jon Wells and it was just a really professional night.

“The players were excellent having to do that and then go and play the next day - and win the game. It just shows how professional they are and it shows where the club’s at.

“There were near 500 people there and it’s just grown immeasurably over the last few years. It’s another tick in the box for the club in my eyes.”