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Three-way lift for Knights
A TOP trio of young local talent have signed on for another year at York City Knights.
The threesome is headed by second-row Ed Smith, who made his debut in 2010 and has 46 first-team appearances to his name at the age of 20.
Winger Ben Dent, who turns 22 this week, and highly-rated centre Greg Minikin, 18, have also penned new one-year deals.
The Press understands under-20s prop Jake Joynt is also on his way back to Huntington Stadium.
Speaking to The Press earlier this month, boss Gary Thornton said he had pinpointed Smith, Dent and Minikin as “must-keeps”.
“I value them,” he said. “They were three of the better performers at the end of the season and we’re keen to keep them.
“They’re all local lads and fit the template for what we want to do. They will also be better players next year for having this year under their belts.”
Knaresborough-based Minikin, seen as a protégé of first-team captain and U20s coach James Ford, was a star performer for the U20s and was called up to the first team four times, scoring on his league bow away to Leigh Centurions.
Smith will also be joined in the Knights’ ranks next year by elder brother Pat, who has signed from Sheffield Eagles.
Meanwhile, Joynt began this season in the Knights U20s but returned to previous club Featherstone before Easter as a makeweight in the deal that took winger Nat Browne the other way.
Rovers had wanted him for their U20s as they had too many over-age players, including fellow prop Lewis Jones, who also made the move to York, only to fade away without getting near the first team.
Normanton-based Joynt has asked for another shot at Huntington Stadium.
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