GARY THORNTON says York City Knights are not quite spent up for 2013 – but it would have to be the “right player at the right price” if they were to bring in more new recruits.
The arrival of Matt Nicholson last week to replace departed prop forward Nathan Freer meant the squad for next season stood at 31 players, including Danny Nicklas on a season-long loan from Hull and Luke Hardbottle, who arrives from Australia in February. It also includes six players who are eligible for the under-19s.
There will yet be some additions on dual-registration terms from Hull FC as part of the Knights’ new partnership with the Super League outfit, but otherwise recruitment is virtually finished.
New head coach Thornton, though, says there is some money set aside in case of emergencies – or in case someone becomes available whom the club do not want to ignore.
“There is still scope to bring somebody in if we think they will improve the squad,” he said. “It’s not a shut door for anybody.
“There is a little bit of money set aside for emergencies or for if someone becomes available. There is some flexibility although it would have to be the right player in the right position at the right price.”
There is still no confirmation on which players will arrive on dual-reg from the KC Stadium – no moves are likely until the new season draws near.However, speculation remains rife that former Knights flier Tom Lineham, who began his career at Huntington Stadium after emerging out of York’s rugby union ranks, could be among them.
The 21-year-old winger is on the fringes at Hull and is now too old for their academy so playing opportunities might otherwise be limited.
Thornton, whose new-look squad are now getting into the swing of pre-season training, was happy with the playing staff at his disposal – and with the seemingly likely recruits from Hull.
He said: “We’ve got George Elliott and Ben Dent as our only wingers so we need strengthening there. Hull are aware of the positions we need strengthening in.
“Tom Lineham has been mentioned but we need to see where he fits into Hull’s plans. There’s also Jack Briscoe and one or two others. But with the quality of player they’re mentioning to us – we’re quite happy.”
Knights chairman John Guildford confirmed the 2013 squad was virtually complete, barring the Hull additions.
He added: “We’re not actively searching for players now but, if anyone became available who would add quality, there’s no reason why we would not be interested in bringing them to York.”
Knights 2013 squad
Full-backs: James Haynes, Tom Carr, James Morland (U19s).
Wingers: George Elliott, Ben Dent, Luke Tomlinson (U19s).
Centres: James Ford, Jon Goddard, Aaron Lyons, Gareth Poutney, Greg Minikin (U19s).
Half-backs: Simon Brown, Jonny Presley, Danny Nicklas (season-long loan).
Hookers: Jack Lee, Kriss Brining (U19s), Harry Carter (U19s).
Props: Adam Sullivan, Paul King, Jack Aldous, Matt Nicholson, Austin Bell, Clark Thompson, Tim Stubbs (U19s).
Second-rows: Jason Golden, Sam Scott, Ed Smith, Sam Orange, Joe Hemmings, Tyler Craig.
Loose-forwards: Luke Hardbottle (arriving in February).