Wests Tigers vice-captain Elijah Taylor has tonight been awarded the Kelly-Barnes Award for the 2017 Wests Tigers NRL Player of the Year.
Taylor was presented with the honour at the Club’s Presentation Night this evening, which was held in front of more than 400 guests at Le Montage in Lilyfield.
The 27-year-old, who recently extended his contact at Wests Tigers until the end of 2020, also took out the Members’ Player of the Year award following a superb season.
Playing his first full season at Wests Tigers, Taylor was a standout for Ivan Cleary’s side throughout the year — averaging more than 42 tackles per game while also contributing five tries, four linebreaks and a try-assist. Despite missing three games with a shoulder injury, Taylor still finished fifth in the NRL for most tackles made this year with 891.
Taylor took out the top award as one of five finalists that included captain Aaron Woods, David Nofoaluma, Kevin Naiqama and James Tedesco.
A consistent performer throughout the season, Tedesco was voted by his teammates as the Players’ Player ahead of finalists David Nofoaluma and Elijah Taylor.
Despite missing the final few weeks with injury, rising star Jacob Liddle was awarded the Club’s Rookie of the Year Award following his first full season in first-grade.
The 20-year-old played 13 games for the Club throughout the year, chalking up four tries and an average of 25 tackles per game to take out the gong, narrowly beating out other Rookie of the Year finalists Matt Eisenhuth and Moses Suli.
Jeremy Marshall-King (Player of the Year) and Nathan Milone (Players’ Player) took out the honours for the Club’s Intrust Super Premiership side, while Holden Cup captain Daniel Peck took out both awards in a superb season from the Toukley Hawks junior
Jamal Idris took out the Community Achievement Award for his tireless efforts off the field in 2017, while Community and Fan Engagement Manager Shaun Spence was named the Club Person of the Year. The contributions of Cilene Quintao was also recognised by the Club through the annual Woman of the Year Award.
In addition to the awards, Wests Tigers also inducted three new Life Members of the Club — two of which were 2005 Premiership Winners in Liam Fulton and Ben Galea. Meriton Group Managing Director Harry Triguboff was also recognised with a Life Membership for his long-standing involvement with the Club.
Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe extended his congratulations to all the award winners, and highlighted the importance of taking the time to recognise their achievements.
“On behalf of everyone at Wests Tigers, I’d like to congratulate Elijah and all our winners from tonight’s Kelly-Barnes Award,” Pascoe said. “It is important and pleasing to recognise the success achieved across the Club this season.”
“We’re proud to welcome Liam, Ben and Harry as Life Members, and I’d like to thank them all for their tremendous contributions to Wests Tigers on and off the field.”
Kelly-Barnes Award — Elijah Taylor
Players’ Player — James Tedesco
Rookie of the Year — Jacob Liddle
Members’ Player of the Year — Elijah Taylor
Player of the Year — Jeremy Marshall-King
Players’ Player — Nathan Milone
Player of the Year — Daniel Peck
Players’ Player — Daniel Peck
Community Achievement — Jamal Idris
Club Person of the Year — Shaun Spence
Woman of the Year — Cilene Quintao
Liam Fulton — 2005 Premiership Winner, 162 games for Wests Tigers
Ben Galea — 2005 Premiership Winner, 150 games for Wests Tigers
Harry Triguboff — Meriton Group Managing Director