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Experience as well as youth is crucial - Knights chief
GARY THORNTON has stressed the need for experience in York City Knights’ playing ranks next season to help bring on the young guns – and spearhead a promotion push.
The Knights are likely to promote more of the kids from the successful under-20s team as part of a rebuilding process following relegation from the Kingstone Press Championship.
However, head coach Thornton insists this does not mean putting the onus on youth over experience.
“These lads, like Greg Minikin, Ben Dent and Tyler Craig, are maturing and they will only get better and better,” he said.
“When they’ve stepped up to the Championship they’ve showed they were capable of handling it, and they’ll be even better next year.
“At the same time we don’t want a team just of young lads. It’s a tough situation at the moment with things up in the air regarding budgets and players’ contracts.
“We will need a couple more props and an outside back with experience. We will still need experience to get us back up.”
As previously revealed by The Press, senior players who recently signed on for 2014 all had get-out clauses should the club be relegated. The club likewise had an option to renegotiate terms given the reduced budget that comes with playing in Championship One.
The future of players such as Sam Scott and Jack Lee – the top two in The Press Player of the Year ranks – is therefore uncertain.
Thornton and chairman John Guildford are still calculating that budget, meaning no confirmed signings are likely this week. Guildford has already said the club would continue to spend up to the salary cap – 40 per cent of turnover – but turnover is expected to fall.
Thornton explained: “The percentage we’re spending is the same but it’s not the same amount of money. We will have quite a bit less than this year so we have to spend it wisely and make sure we get value for money.”
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