Sharks skipper Paul Gallen, remarkably in his 17th season in the NRL, has claimed both major awards at the 2017 Monty Porter Medal Night.
Gallen was presented with the Tommy Bishop Player’s Player award by former teammate Michael Ennis, before then claiming the major accolade of the night, the Monty Porter Medal for the Pontifex Player of the Year.
Gallen beat out a quality field that included nominees Wade Graham, Ricky Leutele and Luke Lewis to take out the major award.
Earlier in the night youngster Jayden Brailey was named Steve Rogers Rookie of the Year, Wade Graham the Members Player of the Year.
The Sharks Have Heart Community Award went to Sam Tagataese for his outstanding efforts in investing over 60 hours in the community across numerous appearances, as well as for his work with his adopted charity Borderless Community Services.
In the NYC try-scoring winger Sione Katoa was crowned the Greg Peirce Player’s Player and lock Billy Magoulias the Gavin Miller Player of the Year. Along with four teammates and coach John Morris, the pair were also named in the 2017 Holden Cup Team of the Year.
Jayson Bukuya (NRL) and Aperramo Lualua (NYC) accepted the respective Wellbeing and Education Excellence Awards, four NRL players and six from the NYC Iron Man awards for playing every game of the 2017 season, while Valentine Holmes received Try of the Year for a spectacular four-pointer in the Sharks round five win over the Newcastle Knights.
Jess Ciccia was a popular winner of the Andrew Ettingshausen Club Person of the Year for her tireless work behind the scenes in the events, community and game day areas.
Held in the Showroom in Sharks Leagues Club, the annual presentation night was attended by around 330 guests, including players, coaching staff, their partners, the board of directors, football club staff and representatives from the Sharks major corporate partners.
2017 Sharks Awards
Monty Porter Medallist and Pontifex Player of the Year – Paul Gallen
Tommy Bishop Player’s Player – Paul Gallen
Steve Rogers Rookie of the Year – Jayden Brailey
Sharks Have Heart Community Award – Sam Tagataese
Member’s Player of the Year – Wade Graham
NRL Try of the Year – Valentine Holmes
Gavin Miller NYC Player of the Year – Billy Magoulias
Greg Pierce NYC Player’s Player – Sione Katoa
Wellbeing and Education Excellence Awards – Jayson Bukuya (NRL), Aperramo Lualua (NYC)
Iron Man Awards (played every game in 2017)
Andrew Ettingshausen Club Person of the Year – Jess Ciccia