The Steve Prescott Man of Steel - renamed in 2014 in honour of the former St Helens, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity full-back who died from cancer in 2013 - is the greatest individual accolade a Super League player can win in a season. Chosen by their fellow peers, it is awarded to the player thought to have had the most significant impact on both his team and the league in a given year with Castleford Tigers' Luke Gale scooping up the award in 2017. So, although there are still two months to go until the start of the new season, who could emerge as a possible winner in 2018?

Albert Kelly

In any other season, Albert Kelly would likely have won the Man of Steel in 2017, but, with Castleford Tigers' duo Luke Gale and Zak Hardaker also in the reckoning, Kelly was perhaps never in with a shout of finishing first. Although being nominated in itself is a fantastic achievement, Kelly will be looking to go one better in 2018. And, after settling in seamlessly in Humberside following his move to Hull FC from bitter rivals Hull KR ahead of the 2017 season, the Australian-born stand-off will want to propel the Airlie Birds to even greater success in 2018 following the club's second successive Challenge Cup victory and a third-placed Super League finish in 2017.

So why Kelly? - Kelly is the danger man for Hull FC; alongside a devastating sidestep and running game, he has that ability to create something out of nothing and stun his opponents with the flair and poise that only he can produce.

And, after forming a brilliant half-back partnership with scrum-half Marc Sneyd who controls the games and kicks teams to death, Kelly's shackles have been released, making him an even scarier player to come up against. With Kelly almost sniffing success in 2017, 2018 could well be the year where Kelly finishes top of the Man of Steel podium.

Ben Barba

In late May 2017, Barba signed for St Helens in a highly-publicised move. After testing positive for cocaine in November 2016 whilst at Cronulla Sharks, Barba switched codes in February 2017 in a two-and-a-half year deal with Toulon. Yet, after playing just four games for the French side, he was sacked in May of this year, only to sign for Saints as their marquee player later that month.

Although it would be three months until Barba would start his first game for his new club following a 12-match suspension given to him by the NRL, the former Cronulla man made an instant impression towards the end of the 2017 season.

Though his first game - at home against Wigan on September 1 - was a baptism of fire, his performances in the next four games had Saints' fans licking their lips at the potential excitement Barba could bring with a full pre-season behind him in 2018. On his day, Barba is world-class and there is nobody quite like him in Rugby League at the moment. He has the vision to play what he sees and can leave fans and pundits awestruck at some of the skill he produces. And, with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the game, he could well prove to be the key to unlock Saints' full potential in 2018.

Tyrone Roberts

To include Warrington Wolves' new overseas recruit, Tyrone Roberts, in this list is a huge risk, but one which could pay off. Like all signings from the NRL, Roberts' move will either be magic or tragic. However, there are certain reasons why his inclusion on this list is not as unusual as it may seem. The half-back has played nearly 150 games in the NRL and scored nearly 600 points despite only being 26. Most of these came in a Newcastle Knights shirt where he spent five seasons and where he established himself as one of the most exciting halves in the NRL.

A move to Gold Coast Titans materialised in 2016, where Roberts, in his maiden season, drove the standards of the club to heights not seen since 2010.

After finishing in the playoffs for the first time in six years, the Titans experienced something of a revival after their lowly finish of 14th in 2015. And, in contributing 116 points which made him Gold Coasts' highest points-scorer in 2016, Roberts was at the heart of this improvement. Although a disappointing second season with the Titans saw them finish 15th, Roberts still showed glimpses of the class and maturity that he can bring to the Wolves, despite being pushed out of the half-back position by the less-than-impressive Kane Elgey for the majority of the year.

With Warrington also determined to bounce back in 2018 themselves after a dismal 2017, Roberts will be their go-to man to create excitement and provide the winning formula alongside half-back partner Kevin Brown.

And, if Roberts does settle in well at Warrington and produce the goods, he could well take Super League by storm.

Alex Walmsley

Before the three-man shortlist was announced for the 2017 Man of Steel, Alex Walmsley was tipped to be amongst those fighting for a place in the top three. And, was there any real surprise? His performances ever since he made the move to St Helen's from local side Batley Bulldogs have been at a consistently high level, so much so, that he actually earned a nomination for the Man of Steel in 2015. But, in 2017, his performances were in a league of their own within Super League; he made the most metres out of any of his fellow players and became the one forward whom Saints could always rely on.

After earning a deserved call-up to the England side for the World Cup, Walmsley did not look back. Appearing five times off the bench, he became a key figure in England's run to the final. And, with the knowledge that he has the ability to mix it with the world's best, Walmsley could well take his game to an even greater level in 2018 - a scary thought for a player who is already one of the most formidable forwards in Super League.

Matt Parcell

After moving to Leeds Rhinos to replace the outgoing James Segeyaro ahead of the 2017 season, Parcell excelled in his maiden year with the West Yorkshire club. His performances in 2017 earned him a place in the Super League Dream Team and no wonder; he was at the hub of everything that Leeds did well on their route to yet another Grand Final victory.

With an intelligent Rugby League brain and the ability to play not just to a structure but with what develops in front of him, Parcell is the type of hooker that could take his game to a level which few could compete within the Super League competition.

And, after making himself at home in a Rhinos' outfit that was desperate to bounce back after their miserable 2016 season, scoring 19 tries in 34 appearances and earning six man of the match awards along the way, Parcell will be hungry for more success in 2018. If he can take the sparkling form he produced in 2017 to an even greater height in 2018, there is no reason why the wily hooker cannot be in with a shout of winning the Man of Steel.