Newcastle Knights celebrate at the Season  Awards on the 8th of September 2016 at Wests, New Lambton NSW Australia. © NRL Photos / Photographer: Paul Barkley

Dane Gagai wins Danny Buderus Medal

Newcastle Knights centre Dane Gagai has won the Danny Buderus Medal, the Newcastle Knights’ Player of the Year Award.
 
Gagai was presented the major award in front of more than 400 guests at Wests New Lambton on Thursday night.
 
It caps off a wonderful season for the 25-year-old, who represented QLD in the winning State of Origin series and played in the Indigenous All Stars side.
 
Gagai played a large part of the season at fullback before returning to his preferred position of centre late in the season.
 
“There is no doubting it has been a tough season for the Club, but Dane has competed like the State of Origin player that he is,” coach Nathan Brown said.
 
“We not only congratulate Dane on winning the Danny Buderus Medal Award but all of his individual success this season.”
   
The Player of the Year Award, named the Danny Buderus Medal, is voted on by the coaching staff after each round.
 
In other awards, Daniel Saifiti won the hotly contested Rookie of the Year while Nathan Ross took to the stage for the Coaches Award.
 
“Daniel was a standout for consistency amongst a host of young debutants, who all show good signs for the future of our Club,” Brown added.
 
Rounding out the NRL Awards, Sione Mata’utia was named the Players’ Player, Trent Hodkinson the Clubman of the Year while retiring co-captain Jeremy Smith and Sione Mata’utia shared the Once a Knight Old Boys Gladiator Award.
 
In other grades, Luke Yates won the Reserve Grade’s Player of the Year and Nick Meaney won the NYC Player of the Year award.
 
“Congratulations to all of our award winners across our three grades,” the coach said. “We now look forward to working hard this pre-season and improving for next season.”
 
2016 AWARDS
 
NRL:
 
NRL Player of the Year Award – Danny Buderus Medal: Dane Gagai
NRL Players’ Player Award: Sione Mata’utia
NRL Coaches Award: Nathan Ross
Clubman of the Year Award: Trent Hodkinson
Once a Knight Old Boys Gladiator Award: Jeremy Smith and Sione Mata’utia
Rookie of the Year Award: Daniel Saifiti
 
NYC:
 
NYC Player of the Year Award: Nick Meaney
NYC Players’ Player Award: Nick Meaney
NYC Coaches Award: Joe Morris
 
RESERVE GRADE:
 
Reserve Grade Player of the Year Award: Luke Yates
Reserve Grade Players’ Player Award: Ken Tofilau
Reserve Grade Coaches Award: Uiti Baker
 
KEY TIMES:
 
Red carpet arrivals – 6pm
NYC awards – from 7.10pm
ISP awards – from 7.25pm
Jeremy Smith farewell – from 8.25pm
NRL awards – from 9.20pm
 
The Knights commence pre-season training on November 1.