Former Bradford Bulls chief Potter named Super League coach of year (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Former Bradford Bulls chief Mick Potter named Super League coach of year
Mick Potter's dedication to the Bulls has seen him named Super League coach of the year tonight at a glittering awards ceremony in Manchester.
The Australian stayed on at Odsal in a voluntary capacity after being made redundant by the club's administrators in July and would have taken the Bulls to the play-offs for the first time in four years had the club not been docked six points for breaching the Rugby Football League's solvency regulations.
Potter, who has returned home to Australia to seek a new job after turning down the offer of a new contract from the new Bradford club, was chosen by a secret ballot of the other 13 Super League coaches.
Bulls second-rower John Bateman was pipped by Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker to the young player of the year award. Hardaker enjoyed a hugely impressive first full season in Super League in which he will cap an ever-present record in Saturday's Grand Final against Warrington.
The 20-year-old former Featherstone player was at centre in last year's Grand Final win over St Helens but has deputised so superbly for injured full-back Brent Webb that he is set to keep the spot next season.
Hardaker was chosen by a specially-convened panel ahead of Bateman and St Helens centre Josh Jones.
Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins won the coveted Super League Man of Steel crown.
The England international, twice a winner of the young-player-of-the-year award, won the prestigious prize ahead of St Helens hooker James Roby and Warrington second row forward Ben Westwood.
Both Tomkins and Roby, who won the award in 2007, were short-listed for the award last season but lost out to Rangi Chase, the Castleford and England half-back.
This time Tomkins emerged top of a secret ballot of his fellow Super League players as the man deemed to have made the biggest impact on the season.
Former England and Bulls captain Jamie Peacock, who will make a record tenth Grand Final appearance on Saturday, received the Mike Gregory State of Rugby League Award for lifetime achievement.