Scotland Rugby League celebrated Hogmanay by announcing their annual Player of the Year for each national team, with Dale Ferguson (See photo) lifting the Dave Valentine Award as top performer in the senior team.
Ferguson, the Wakefield Trinity youngster, was selected by the Scotland management team of coach Steve McCormack, assistant Dave Rotheram and manager George Fairbairn. Second-rower Ferguson, 22, made his debut in the home thrashing by Wales in October but recovered from that shock to put in a fine performance in the narrow defeat in France and was outstanding in Scotland's record win in Ireland to end the Alitalia European Cup. "Dale was totally new to our set-up this year and came in and performed like he was used to international rugby," said McCormack, Scotland's head coach since 2004. "He was tremendous throughout the European Cup and I look forward to him becoming a mainstay of our side for years to come."
The award is named after Scotland's greatest ever rugby league player, Valentine, who captained Great Britain to World Cup glory in 1954 and was a star for Huddersfield throughout that decade. Previous winners include former NRL forward Duncan MacGillivray and ex Scotland rugby union internationalist Jon Steel.
Edinburgh Eagles hooker Giles Lomax was voted top player for the Scotland A side, who won the Home Nations Championship for the first time ever, with David Linton and Nick Broere runners-up. "Giles was outstanding this year for the A Team and his man of the match performance in Dublin ranks with the absolutely great performances at any level in a Scotland shirt," said departing A team coach Gus McNab. "He has always been a consistently good performer in the Scotland A squad but this year he took his game to another level. He was rewarded with a place in the full Scotland squad for the Alitalia European Cup." Still uncapped at full level, Giles is one of a number of players pushing for a place in the senior squad at the 2013 World Cup.
Hull University's Jordan Rice pips Crawford Matthews of Gateshead to the Roy Kinnear Award as Scotland Students Player of the Year, named after the Heriots, Scotland and British Lions union star who became a big smash at Wigan in the1920s, scoring a try in the first Challenge Cup Final to be held at Wembley.
Glenrothes full-back Shaun Gray won the Graeme Thompson Award for best Under-18 internationalist in his first season of rugby league. The awards will be presented in the New Year.
SCOTLAND RUGBY LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Dave Valentine Award - Scotland Senior Team Player of the Year
2010 Dale Ferguson
David Rose Award - Scotland ‘A' Team Player of the Year
2010 Giles Lomax
Roy Kinnear Award - Scotland Students Player of the Year
2010 Jordan Rice
Graeme Thompson Award - Scotland Under-18s Player of the Year
2010 Shaun Gray