Hoffman's stunning award win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hoffman's stunning award win

By Wayne Heming 08/10/2010 11:32:31 PM Comments (0)

Talented young fullback Josh Hoffman has capped a magnificent season by upsetting hot favourite Sam Thaiday to be named Brisbane's 2010 NRL player of the year.

It was a massive night for the exciting 22 year-old, also named Brisbane's players' player and the club's most improved.

After taking over the No.1 jumper vacated by AFL defector Karmichael Hunt this year, Mackay-born Hoffman produced a stunning finish to the NRL season to run down Queensland and Australian forward Thaiday and claim the club's highest individual honour.

Hunt, who played every game in his debut season of 2004 to be rookie-of-the-year and played 125 games for the Broncos and 21 for Queensland (10) and Australia (11), left Brisbane without winning it's top individual award.

Hoffman, whose start to the 2010 season was delayed by a pre-season trial injury, was a staggering 23 points behind representative forward Thaiday after voting for the opening 12 rounds of the season had been counted at Friday night's black tie awards dinner.

But he collected four man-of-the-match awards to score the maximum points in half of Brisbane's last eight games, polling a total of 58 votes, seven more than Thaiday who held a 15 point lead after 18 rounds of counting.

Rookie discovery Matt Gillett, who had a stunning NRL debut season, finished third on 34 points - three ahead of last year's player of the year winner Corey Parker.

Hoffman's development through the season along with Gillett's arrival, were bonuses for coach Ivan Henjak after injuries to several players, including captain Darren Lockyer, conspired to undermine their tilt at a 19th successive finals campaign.

After forcing his way into Brisbane's side in round five against the Dragons on the wing, he played his next 19 games at fullback, scoring seven tries.

Four times he carved out more than 200 metres with his powerful straight running.

New Zealand national coach Stephen Kearney has been so impressed with Hoffman he's made a number of approaches to youngster to pull on a Kiwi jumper in next month's Four Nations series against Australia.

However Hoffman's New Zealand-born father, Stan, who lives in Mackay, has encouraged his son to stick with his goal of playing for Queensland and Australia as his Kiwi-born predecessor Hunt did several years ago.

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