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SouthStander.com Dreamteam - The Centres
Posted by southstander on June 07 2005 - 07:20:19

Who, Me?
by Andy Gilderdale

Every year, the Tetley’s Dream Team is chosen to recognise the efforts of the best player in their respective positions across Super League. It’s usually met with either relaxed acknowledgement or mass derision, depending on whether you felt one of your club’s players was unjustly omitted, or one of your nearest rivals got a player in at their expense.

Well now it’s your turn to show that you know what it takes to pick a winning side, as we begin the search for the very first SouthStander.com Leeds Dream Team.

Across the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be asking you to select the player you feel has been the best for the Leeds club in each position (including replacements), and pick a coach for the side. The thread to cast your votes will appear on the message board around the same time as an article on the front page giving you some suggestions for each position. For unique positions (such as full back and loose forward) we’ll be asking you for just one name, whereas for others such as wing or centre you’ll get the chance to name two. The voting on each position will be open for only a week, so make sure you check back regularly to get the chance to put in your opinion. Given the number of possible options, and in order to give you absolute free rein to name your favourite I won’t be running it as a poll, just a thread where you can put your nomination.

You can nominate a player in more than one position if you wish, and if one player tops the voting in two different positions then the one in which he gathered the most votes will take precedence.

After selecting the wingers last week, this week you need to pick the men to supply them with the possession they need – the centres. As with last week, you get two votes for this position. The players you vote for do not need to have played together, or come from the same generation – this is a “dream” team after all. To stimulate your creative juices, here are some suggestions.

Centre

Syd Hynes - arguably the finest British centre of his generation, made 366 appearances for Leeds, scoring 158 tries. The hands of a magician and an uncompromising defender (just ask Alex Murphy and Arthur Beetson!). Appeared in 15 major finals for Leeds and 13 times for Great Britain, before going on to coach Leeds to Wembley wins in 1977 and 1978.

Les Dyl – awesome power, deceptive pace and a tremendous hand-off, Dyl was probably ahead of his time in terms of the physical development of the centre position. Almost 200 tries in his Leeds career in two spells and 11 GB caps including three tours Down Under he formed a devastating left wing partnership with Atkinson for club and country.

Garry Schofield – player of outstanding natural ability, a seemingly instinctive try scorer that belied an astute tactical brain which enabled him to transfer into the half backs later in his career. Signed from Hull in 1987 he was a mainstay of the Leeds and Great Britain side, captaining both in the process until his move to Huddersfield in 1996 though individual honours eluded him both in domestic and international terms. A player who fans loved to hate, unless he was playing for their side.

Craig Innes – the prototype for the modern centre? Deceptively strong, good feet and the uncanny ability to create space for his winger made him a real threat with ball in hand, and that’s before you mention his bone-jarring defence. Adapted quickly following his move from rugby union, and Leeds were maybe deprived of seeing the best of him by his move to Australia.

Brad Godden – the latter-day version Craig Innes in many respects, maybe not as explosive as the Kiwi but possessing all the same skills and reliability. The scoring records of the players who played outside him during his time at Headingley bear testament to his ability as a centre.

Keith Senior – joined the club in 1999 and burst into life in the 2000 season with 18 tries. A fearsome sight with ball in hand he possesses all the skills required of a top class centre, with a strong fend, a good step and the ability to release his winger. A four time Tetley’s Dream Team selection and a Great Britain international, he’s also the holder of the Super League appearance record having played in the opening game of the competition for Sheffield Eagles against Paris.

Cast your vote here...

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