Young seamer Ben Coad claimed all three major awards at the Club’s annual gala dinner tonight.
The prodigious 23-year-old, with a pun-hungry surname, collected awards for Members’ Player, Players’ Player and Young Player of the Year at a black-tie event in front 400 guests and dignitaries at the Centenary Pavilion, Elland Road.
Harrogate-born Coad, whose bustling pace has seen him take 50 wickets at an average of 20.86, recorded a career best of 6-25 against Roses rivals Lancashire Lightning on June 2 at Headingley. Brought on for the 15th over, he then took 4-6 in his first 18 deliveries, starting with England’s Haseeb Hameed. He also took 18 wickets in his first four innings for the Club in 2017.
Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon said: “He’s been a revelation really. He’s obviously worked hard in the winter and has had a different outlook on his bowling since last season in the second team and has carried that on this year. He was looking to be more aggressive and take more wickets, as opposed to being a defensive bowler and it has paid dividends. He’s worked hard on his skills and has had a fantastic season. Hopefully he can build on that and continue to improve and really become an outstanding First-Class cricketer.
“He’s a very down to earth lad, who wants to do well and has been a very good professional. As a fast bowler you’ve got to look after yourself and follow the right protocols with regards to diet, fitness, rehab and prehab, he’s very good at adhering to those elements. Players like that deserve their success.”
Coad, who claimed 53% of the vote, registered four five-wicket hauls and one 10-wicket haul in 12 Championship appearances this season. He had only played once in the competition before the 2017 campaign and recently penned a contract that will keep him at Headingley until December 2018.
Other contenders included Gary Balance with 14% and Adam Lyth with 9% in a poll of more than 700 of the Club’s Members.
“Some players develop at different speeds or at different times,” Moxon continued. “I would say changing his mindset to be more aggressive was the biggest thing and he’s grown into that very quickly. To run in hard day in day out you’ve got to be physically prepared and that’s what he’s worked very hard on. He’s now able to maintain that intensity for long periods of time. That’s something you need to be a successful bowler in First-Class cricket.
“He set the tone in Dubai and then got a chance in the first game against Hampshire, because we had a couple of injuries. That’s what we want from our young players to take their chances when they come. So all credit to him, he’s the kind of lad you want to see be successful because he’s got all the attributes you like to see as a coach.”
Jack Leaning was awarded Fielder of the Year after an exemplary year in the field, the highlight of which was his stunning one-handed grab in a 19-run NatWest T20 Blast win over Lancashire. Leaning was patrolling the cover boundary when he somehow stretched to hold on to an Arron Lilley shot that looked destined for a six.
The Howard Clayton Second Team Performance of the Year went to off-spinner Jack Schutt, whose 4-19 in the Second Team One-Day Trophy Final helped polish off the Middlesex innings, securing the trophy for the Club for the first time since 2009. Shutt then claimed 4-12 to bowl Derbyshire out for 136, chasing 159, in the 2nd XI T20 competition at Alvaston & Boulton CC.
Academy Player of the Year went to James Logan, a left-arm spinner, who plays his Club cricket for Farsley
The 19-year-old has played for three-and-a-half seasons for the Academy and is record wicket-taker for the Academy. He has excelled in the Second XI and has been extremely consistent over the last few years with 2017 being one of his strongest seasons to date.