IT is one thing winning a player-of-the-year award when your side have been relegated or are floundering in mid-table.

It is quite another thing to win something off your peers when you have done the treble in a season - Counties One Yorkshire, Yorkshire Shield and Papa Johns Community Cup Counties One North Plate - like Bradford Salem have done.

There were honourable mentions for back-rowers Tom Cummins and Christian Baines, the latter making several appearances in the Counties One team of the season in forums; hooker James Brown, scrum half Callum Smith and prop Conor Wood - but the winner of the Craig Busby Memorial Shield for players’ player of the year was flanker Morgan Mirzaali.

And the 22-year-old’s reaction was: “This is out of this world. There were a lot of strong candidates and it is amazing to win it as everyone has played so well this season - it could have gone to anyone.

“So to get it does not even make sense, and it means so much that I can hardly speak.”

Mirzaali added: “Playing in my rightful position, which is seven, having been in the first XV since I was 17 and having stints in the centres, it means a lot.

“It shows how much I have improved, and I have been here since I was 12, so I was about when we lost everything and now I am here when we have won everything - there is no better feeling.”

As for next season, when Salem will be celebrating their centenary season by playing in Regional Two North East, Mirzaali said: “I have heard that there is not much difference (in standard) between that division and Counties One Yorkshire.

“But it does not matter in the end as we are going to play our rugby in the best way that we can and let’s see what next season brings.

“Our away trips are further but our local fixtures are generally closer (Keighley apart) so bring it on."

Josh Charnock scores for Salem in a victory over Bradford & Bingley last season, with the side only losing three of their 22 league games on the way to winning the title. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

The Clubman of the Year award went to head coach Bob Hood, who only took on the role last summer, while lock Dom Bailey won the club’s most improved player award and hooker James Brown was the top try-scorer with 13 to his name.

Bailey was proud of his own achievement, but also keen to hail the club’s four new South Sea islanders - right winger Adrea Vasuitoga, forward Waisale Lasekula and centres Pauli Pauli and Suiai Matagi - who were integral to last season’s success.

He said: “They are fantastic to be around and as blokes off the field they are brilliant team-mates, but their stats on the field are something else.

“They don’t just play a game of rugby and disappear after the game. They have bought into the lifestyle and we can call them all mates rather than just team-mates.”

The awards evening was held the night before Bradford Bulls beat Doncaster at Odsal in the Betfred Championship, and Doncaster included both Pauli and Matagi in their side that day.