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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Whitehaven's Rooney happy with Championship One player of year nomination

Whitehaven playmaker Jamie Rooney has labelled former Super League rival Paul Cooke the man to beat after both were short-listed for a major Championship One honour.

Jamie Rooney photo
Jamie Rooney

They are among five top performers in the running for the division’s player of the year accolade in the Rugby League Express awards. Workington Town hooker Graeme Mattinson, Barrow’s Liam Harrison and Lamont Bryan of London Skolars complete the list.

“It’s always nice to be nominated for awards, especially when you get to my age,” said Rooney, 31, who reckons Cooke had a great season for the champs. “Doncaster won the final and the league, and I’m sure he is favourite. Mattinson from Workington also had a top season and I’m just happy to be nominated. If I win I’ll be over the moon as there are a lot of good players in that category.”

The former England stand-off transformed Haven’s fortunes after joining in May.

“I want to say a big thank you to Whitehaven, the board and Barry Richardson, and the fans, who made me feel very welcome,” said Rooney. “I’m looking forward to next year with a full pre-season behind me. We’re not just looking to avoid relegation, we want to make the play-offs. Players dread this time of year because we get flogged and there’s no game at the end of the week. But I’m really enjoying it. Dave Woods is fitting in a lot skills work which I think will benefit us this year.

Town bosses Gary Charlton and Martin Oglanby are short-listed for the Championship One coach of the year honour. Voting forms can be found inside the RL paper or online at totalrl.com

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