Wood winsnew award but age bars way to Halifax

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The Independent Online

Martin Wood, crowned last night as the Northern Ford Premiership's Player of the Year, is unlikely to seize the chance to revive his Super League career with his first club, Halifax.

Martin Wood, crowned last night as the Northern Ford Premiership's Player of the Year, is unlikely to seize the chance to revive his Super League career with his first club, Halifax.

Wood, who also won the Players' Player of the Year award, later appeared in Super League for Sheffield Eagles. He has had an outstanding season with Keighley but has been in discussion with Halifax about joining them for the rest of this season. "We have a lot of respect for Martin, but it is unlikely to happen," said the Halifax chief executive, Nigel Wood. "He is 30 and we want to use the last eight games to look at younger players who could be here next season."

Halifax have lined up a centre from the NFP, who will join them after Saturday's Grand Final. Neil Kelly, who will coach Dewsbury against Leigh in that showdown at Gigg Lane, has been named as the NFP's Coach of the Year.

Oldham, beaten by Leigh in the semi-finals, were named Club of the Year following their resurrection from the wreckage of the Oldham Bears, while Featherstone's Jamie Rooney was named as Young Player of the Year.

Huddersfield, now merged with Sheffield, have reached a settlement with Garry Schofield over his sacking as their coach in 1998. The club recently came to an agreement with Malcolm Reilly, which leaves just John Kear in the Giants' queue of coaching litigants.

Dave Ellis, the former Paris St Germain and Keighley assistant coach, has been appointed defensive coach to the French rugby union side.

Castleford have an injury crisis for Friday's match against Warrington, with half-backs Brad Davis and Danny Orr injured at St Helens last weekend and likely to join Aaron Raper on the sidelines. "My options are pretty minimal," said the Castleford coach, Stuart Raper.

David Maiden, Hull's centre or loose forward, is likely to miss the rest of the season after injuring knee ligaments playing football with his young son in the back garden.

Lance Thompson and Andrew Hart, forwards with the merged St George-Illawarra club in Australia, have been banned from the club's licensed premises after their argument over who would wear the first team's No 12 jersey next season got out of hand and led to a fight in the car park.

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