By Jacob Kilbride
Halifax RLFC head coach Richard Marshall says that he's proud to be nominated for the 2018 Betfred Championship Coach of the Year award, but believes this season's success is down the players within his squad.
Marshall has been shortlisted for the accolade for the second straight year - having previously won the award in 2015 - and is chosen alongside London's Danny Ward and Sylvain Houles from Toulouse.
The coach says he must thank the Fax players for their accomplishments in reaching the top four this term.
"To be nominated for any award or accolade is fantastic," said Marshall. "It’s down to the players though, the 17 who take to the field every week and have done so well this season. Given that we’re a part-time team and with the resources that we’ve got, I think we’ve excelled."
"It’s fantastic for me to get the recognition for what the whole of the club is doing. But, the players have worked hard to put us in this position."
"All of the top four finishes have been different and special in their own way. We’ve not made too many changes to the team this season. It’s probably up their with some of our finest achievements, given the level of competition this year, the teams that are in there and the money that has been spent."
Halifax stars Scott Murrell and Brandon Moore have been nominated for the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year respectively and Marshall paid individual praise to their contributions.
"For part of this season, I was in a brace for 12 weeks and therefore I wasn’t as mobile and as active as I would have liked to have been," he continued. "I’ve relied on Simon Grix and Scott Murrell to run the ship. Scott’s a wonderful leader of this club and he epitomises everything I want in a captain. He has passion, desire and a will to win."
"Brandon had a great year last year and he narrowly missed out. He’s an unsung character in our team. When you looked at tries scored, he’s always in the picture. He’s always in the frame when something good has happened, he makes himself available when someone’s on the ball and he’s improved that area of his game. He has a wonderful mentality having left Castleford and not being offered a first-team contract there and we’re glad that he’s a part of this club."
"I hope that both of them win, of course. I think they both deserve to be nominated and, given the competition around them this year, it’ll be a great accolade if they do."
The winners of the awards will be announced on September 25th.
The full shortlist
Championship Coach of the Year: Danny Ward (London Broncos), Richard Marshall (Halifax RLFC), Sylvain Houles (Toulouse)
Championship Player of the Year: Luke Briscoe (Featherstone Rovers), Scott Murrell (Halifax RLFC), Mark Kheirallah (Toulouse), Johnathon Ford (Toulouse)
Championship Young Player of the Year: Harry Newman (Featherstone Rovers), Brandon Moore (Halifax RLFC), Matt Costello (Sheffield Eagles)