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Uncertainty as Knights return for pre-season
YORK City Knights still do not know where their permanent new training base will be – though York St John University have stepped in to fill the breach temporarily.
The Knights’ new-look squad had their first official get-together under new head coach Gary Thornton last night, a preliminary meet and greet evening at Huntington Stadium to lay down ground rules ahead of the first official training session of pre-season on Tuesday.
That session – and those in the immediate future – are to take place at a temporary training base at St John’s new sports centre at Nestlé Rowntree Park, the pitches previously known as Mille Crux.
However, the Knights are still waiting for official agreement to make it their training home, with talks ongoing between the university and City of York Council.
Facilities currently at Nestlé Rowntree Park include a classroom building which could be used for team briefings, a temporary building which is being turned into a makeshift gym – with the Knights installing their own gear – and rugby, football and cricket pitches, along with a sprint running track.
The Knights are taking their own temporary floodlights to make evening training sessions possible.
Previously, the Knights have used Huntington Stadium for training as well as playing, in addition to having use of various gyms. They have also staged some sessions at Leeds Rhinos’ training centre.
However, work is being done on the stadium pitch meaning the club cannot use it until the new year.
In the long-term, the club will not be able to train there at all when the site is redeveloped to house both the Knights and York City, hence the need for a new training base.
The council have some money set aside for this base as part of the Huntington Stadium redevelopment plan.
However, no agreement has been made with St John for the Knights’ long-term use of their facility.
Knights chairman John Guildford says that would be the club’s preferred option, but made no further comment other than to thank the university for stepping into the breach.