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SouthStander.com Dreamteam - The Stand Off
Posted by southstander on June 20 2005 - 15:52:56

Super Iest?
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.

With your back line now selected, it’s time to move on to the creative hub of the team – the half-backs. We’ll start this week with the number six (or in these days of squad numbers, who knows) shirt. Who’s your favourite all-time Leeds stand-off? Try these names for size, but remember they are only suggestions.

Stand off

Lewis Jones – where to name the “Golden Boy” in your side? Equally at home at full back, centre or stand off, he joined Leeds from Welsh rugby union in 1952. Scored 2,920 points for Leeds prior to his farewell in 1964, set the world record for points in a season (505 in 1956-7) and was capped 15 times for GB, including two tours to Australia, kicking 10 goals in the second test in 1954. An unequalled attacking talent and highly underrated defender, he could win a game in a split second with a moment of magic.

John Holmes – simple statistics don’t do justice for those who had the pleasure to watch him at his peak. Started his career at full-back as a 16 year old, before switching to stand-off and being the focal point of the Leeds sides of the 1970s. Scorer of 26 points for GB against the Kiwis in 1972, he was an accurate goal-kicker before giving the role up to concentrate on the rest of his game. Often a target for late shots from opposition “hard-men”, his subtle ball skills, kicking ability and tactical awareness made him a match-winner in every sense of the word. A three-time recipient of the club’s player of the year award.

Garry Schofield – another who has filled the number six (and on occasion number seven) shirt with distinction having previously starred in another position. His career achievements came under the microscope on the centre’s shortlist, and his move from that position at the peak of his career probably allowed Leeds fans to see the absolute best of him in both attack and defence.

Iestyn Harris – after signing from Warrington in April 1997, Harris started his Leeds career at full back, often moving up into the stand off role later in games. In five seasons at Leeds he amassed over 1,400 points with an accurate boot, deceptive strength and balance, and uncanny eye for a gap. Despite only being at the club for five years, he stands fourth on the career goal kicking and points scoring charts.

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