HEAD coach Gary Thornton has lauded the jokers in the York City Knights pack for helping to create a togetherness in the ranks heading into the new season.

The annual merry-go-round of players has seen 15 new faces come in through the revolving door at Huntington Stadium this winter, while a few others have been promoted from the junior ranks.

Bonding and building team spirit is always, therefore, a key feature of pre-season, and Thornton reckons pranksters such as James Haynes and newboys Jason Golden and Simon Brown have been instrumental in doing just that.

“We’ve got a lot of new players and it will take time to gel,” he said. “But in that regard the likes of Simon Brown, Jay Golden and James Haynes are fantastic characters to have around the place. They help to bring a great team spirit.

“I think we’ve got a really good team culture and team spirit, a togetherness. The way a team defends I think is partly built on that. You need people like that, like Simon Brown and James Haynes, to build that spirit. They’ve made it easier for the new guys to gel.”