He was agonisingly close in 2019, but one man ran away with the award this season.
Callum Woods, Receiver, Safety – Grangemouth Broncos
Let’s throw it back to 2018. The Broncos have suffered injury after injury, among them, Callum Woods. The playoffs looked like a longshot, but after a shock loss to the Comets, the Oilcats gave the Broncos hope. Going into their showdown with the play-off primed Oilcats, Callum would have maybe been 50% fit at best, but what he did to the defence was downright ridiculous. He put his team on his back to pick up an invaluable win to get them back into the hunt for the playoffs. Against the Hornets in the following game that day, it was Callum again who opened things up for his team to take a half time lead. Unfortunately, the Broncos couldn’t see the game out, but Callum showed that he could take over a game in the blink of an eye. Even while hurt, he was making playoff-bound teams look ridiculous.
Cut to the first game-day of 2019. Woods is in the endzone for another score against the Glasgow Hornets to open the second half (a length-of-the-field score as well), as the Broncos continue their rout to open the year. The Broncos wound up as the #1 seed in the North, with Callum taking centre stage on both sides of the ball. He performed at a high level all season, and forced defences to game-plan around him – not many teams in the league have a player of that calibre.
The Broncos finished 4th overall. If you caught any of the 3rd/4th place playoff, you’ll have seen Callum dancing around the Buttonhookers defenders, while also notching an interception at safety. He carried his form into the European Championships in Israel. First game – five TD performance vs Italy. He finished the tournament with the team lead in touchdown receptions – but he’ll tell you his 100% snap accuracy is the most important stat to him.
We spoke to Broncos HC Fraser Thomson about Callum’s award winning season:
Ask him and he’ll tell you this has been a down year for him, I mean he’s only scored 40% of our points, got the most tackles and INT’s and even stepped in successfully to throw some TDs this year. In all seriousness though I’m not sure I’ve ever coached or played with someone with quite that has the game breaking ability that Callum has. There are plenty of guys who burn you over the top on a deep ball, (he’s one of them to be fair) but there aren’t many who have the ability to take a handoff and go the distance with such regularity. His work ethic is second to none, and he deserves every bit of success he earns in this game.
The honourable mentions for the Premier North Division were:
David McInally, WR, Safety – Manchester Titans
Jake Shaw, WR, CB – Warrington Revolution