Wakefield Trinity Wildcats boss Richard Agar believes Paul Aiton should at least enter the reckoning for this year’s Man of Steel award.
Agar has praised the hooker for a superb year in the red, white and blue and says his performances match the criteria demanded for winning rugby league’s most prestigious individual prize.
“If you’re looking at the criteria for it, Paul Aiton is a player that has played week in, week out consistently tough and a good standard of football,” he said.
“I’m not saying he should be Man of Steel, but for me he’s the type of player that opitimises what that award should be about.”
No player from Wakefield has ever won the award, which started in 1977.
And Agar believes it is now a “popularity contest” after players, and not the rugby league press, were handed the responsibility of choosing a winner.
“Sam Tomkins won it last year and he could have arguably won it a couple of occasions before but I think at that time his public perception probably wasn’t where it is now,” he said.
“They changed the voting concept so it’s become a players’ player of the year vote.”
While pushing Aiton’s merits, Agar believes Huddersfield’s Shaun Lunt would be a worthy winner. “I think he’s been a revelation for them and their form this time around.”