Cornwall RLFC


Abbott Shortlisted for Coach of the Year Award

September 13, 2023

Cornwall RLFC’s Mike Abbott has been nominated for the 2023 Betfred League 1 Coach of the Year award.

Abbott, who took over from Neil Kelly almost 12 months ago, has led the Choughs to five wins in 2023 – four more than the club achieved in its debut season.

This impressive win tally, which included three triumphs from four matches in July, saw Cornwall narrowly miss out on the play-offs.

In picking up 10 competition points during 2023, Abbott’s side continued to create history with a maiden home victory, league double, back-to-back wins and first win over a heartlands club.

Abbott has been shortlisted alongside Dewsbury Rams chief Liam Finn, who has led the Yorkshire outfit back to the Championship at the first attempt.

And the trio of nominees is completed by Workington Town’s Anthony Murray, who moved to Derwent Park from the Cumbrian’s divisional rivals North Wales Crusaders prior to the 2023 campaign.

The winner of the 2023 Betfred League 1 Coach of the Year will be revealed on Tuesday October 10 at Emirates Old Trafford, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Rugby league will come together as one in Manchester with the coveted Man of Steel award presented on the same evening.

Betfred League 1 Coach of the Year Nominees

Mike Abbott – Cornwall

Liam Finn – Dewsbury Rams

Anthony Murray – Workington Town

The Betfred League 1 Player and Young Player of the Year will also be crowned on October 10.

In the Player of the Year category, Dewsbury have two nominees in hooker Reiss Butterworth and Paul Sykes, who is the oldest player in the professional game by a distance at the age of 42, having made his senior debut way back in 1999, but has continued to pull the strings and kick goals from stand-off in his 25th season.

They are joined on the shortlist of four by another two players at the veteran stage of their careers – Doncaster’s 34-year-old forward Sam Smeaton and Martyn Ridyard, the 37-year-old playmaker who has completed his second season with Oldham.

Betfred League 1 Player of the Year Nominees

Reiss Butterworth – Dewsbury Rams

Martyn Ridyard – Oldham

Sam Smeaton – Doncaster

Paul Sykes – Dewsbury Rams

Four players from different clubs are on the shortlist for the Young Player of the Year award, which is open to players who were 21 or under on January 1, and who have made a minimum of nine appearances in 2023.

They are one-time Cornwall loanee Joe Burton, an outside back who joined Hunslet after coming through the Leeds Academy.

Centre Connor Carr has impressed in his second stint on loan at Oldham from Huddersfield Giants while Ben O’Keefe, another three quarter, has shone for Rochdale Hornets since joining them from Wigan.

The shortlist is completed by Ciaran Walker, a goalkicking half-back from the Seaton Rangers community club who is in his second season with Workington Town after a spell in the Newcastle Thunder academy.

Betfred League 1 Young Player of the Year

Joe Burton – Hunslet

Connor Carr – Oldham

Ben O’Keefe – Rochdale Hornets

Ciaran Walker – Workington Town