Pundit Jon Wilkin says he’s been left ‘shocked’ by the Super League Coach of the Year shortlist, namely at the omission of Hull KR boss Willie Peters.
There are normally three head coaches included on the list at the end of each season, but when this year’s shortlist was revealed this morning by Super League, four were in the running.
Wigan Warriors chief Matt Peet could win it for the second year on the spin having lifted the League Leaders’ Shield, while Leigh Leopards’ Adrian Lam and Catalans Dragons’ Steve McNamara have also made the quarter of nominees having led their teams into the play-offs.
The most surprising inclusion was Salford Red Devils’ head coach Paul Rowley, whose side ended the season 7th and missed out on the play-offs having been beaten in their final two matches. Rowley was fined by the Rugby Football League yesterday for his criticism of match officials.
And speaking on Sky Sports’ weekly segment ‘The Verdict’, Wilkin threw his two cents into the mix.
Jon Wilkin slams Coach of the Year shortlist, picks out favourite and bemoans omission
In conversation with host Jenna Brooks, the former St Helens ace said: “Is that the full list? How’s Willie Peters not on the list?!
“For people who don’t understand, the Coach of the Year gets nominated by the coaches, so it’s by their peers. There’s obviously some very popular guys in there… Steve McNamara’s got a lot of friends in the coaching world and Paul Rowley’s a very affable chap, he’s great.
“They’ve all had good seasons, I think Adrian Lam has done amazing things with Leigh and Matty Peet has too at Wigan. I’m just going to mention a very good friend of mine as well in Paul Wellens because they’re technically World Club (Challenge) champions.
“They’re still in with a shout of winning five competitions in a row, so I think he’s worthy of a mention, but I think the favourite for me out of that list would be – surprisingly – Matty Peet. I just enjoy everything that he’s done at Wigan.
‘The way that he speaks, the way that he articulates himself, the language that he uses, the way he addresses his players, and how patient and kind he is to us as broadcasters. He’s just so nice to be around, it’s Matty Peet for me.
“I’m just shocked though, I think Willie Peters should be on that list without a shadow of a doubt.”