James Ford believes York’s move to a new stadium can be the catalyst that helps the club take the next step in its development.

The Knights were the Championship’s surprise package last season following promotion from League 1 and, while Ford is confident his team can take further strides forward on the field, he believes the new ground will underpin the club’s wider ambitions.

He told RL NEWS: “It’s a fantastic facility, roughly 8,000, which is a great size for Rugby League and we’re looking forward to generating a fantastic atmosphere, especially when the bigger clubs visit, and we want to make it our home.

“We’re hopeful that it can be a catalyst in terms of the increased revenue, corporate and all the other things you can do during the day, rather than just a business that turns over money when you have a home game.

Article continues below the advert

“We’ve got intelligent and sensible leadership at the club, and I’m hopeful that they can help the club continue to grow.”

The Knights have continued to grab the headlines throughout the close-season with the acquisition of high-calibre players including Jimmy Keinhorst and Chris Clarkson.

And Ford believes the new recruits can help plug some gaps from 2019.

“Last year it was pretty obvious what we were good at and the areas where we needed to improve, but we didn’t have the resources to do that, so made the best of what we’d got.

“Those boys deserve a lot of credit for their effort and the performances they put in, but we’re in a slightly position this year to have been able to bring in a great calibre of player.

“These are the players who we believe will improve us in one or two areas without sacrificing what we were good at last year.”

But after making the play-offs last year, the Knights boss preferred not to disclose his team’s objectives for 2020.

“We don’t share our goals outside of the group; our philosophy is simply to be the best we can be.

“We can’t control how good Bradford are, how good Featherstone are, so we don’t waste energy on that and we just focus on being the best version of ourselves.

“If we hit those standards then we’ll be happy.”

Finally, Ford believes the introduction of the golden point to the Championship and League 1 can help amp up the excitement even further in the months ahead.

He said: “I think it’s great for the supporters, great for Betfred and great for Rugby League that there’s going to be added excitement.

“There will be a lot of games decided by tight margins and nine or ten sides that can make that top five.

“But ultimately you need a little bit of luck with injuries and refereeing decisions can tip games, especially when sides are equal.

“It should be a fantastic season.”