Super League Man of Steel award voting must change due to farcical situation

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Super League Man of Steel award voting must change due to farcical situation

The Steve Prescott Man of Steel award has been won by Ben Barba of St Helens for the 2018 season but yet again the voting process has brought up many questions.

Barba is no doubt a worthy winner and you could have said that about several other top players this season including Saints’ James Roby and Wigan Warriors star John Bateman, who were both on the shortlist.

But the issue is certain players not taking the voting process seriously enough. Whilst some of the votes are not easy to tell whether they are obviously a joke, others are blatant and bring the award into disrepute.

You cannot exactly tell players not to select some of their mates who are playing well in this scenario but players selecting those who haven’t even featured or barely played in first-team games this year is just downright ridiculous.

Both Catalans Dragons’ Jason Baitieri and Warrington Wolves’ Toby King did this by selecting Danny Addy (Hull KR) and Louis Senior (Huddersfield Giants) respectively in their top three.

With the greatest of respect to the players selected by these jokers, it makes a mockery of the award, which is named after Steve Prescott MBE, a man who died at the age of 39 following a seven-year battle with cancer after being a long-playing servant of St Helens and Hull FC.

Picture from Monday night's Super League Steve Prescott Man of Steel Awards at The Principal Hotel, Manchester.
Picture from Monday night’s Super League Steve Prescott Man of Steel Awards at The Principal Hotel, Manchester.

The solution is to not let this situation play out every year, with the player votes always revealed after the awards dinner in Manchester. The voting system should be changed.

Perhaps maybe a voting panel should be established like in the NRL and the current players left to pick from a pool of top options in a specific year.

It would bring more credibility and interest to the award. Instead we have a farcical situation turning the awards into some kind of Eurovision Song Contest were you can vote for your mates or completely disrespect the awards by taking the proverbial.

The jokers are embarrassing themselves as well by doing this. It’s a sign of immaturity and disrespect towards the players who they selected.

The Steve Prescott Man of Steel award is the pinnacle achievement for players in the Super League. It should not be tarnished by this attempt at humour and therefore must be changed in order to make the process more credible and less ridiculous.

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