New captains tipped to lift York City Knights ranks

York Press: Jack Lee Jack Lee

JAMES FORD has backed Jack Lee and Jason Golden to do York City Knights proud after they took over his captaincy role at Huntington Stadium.

Ford, having skippered the first team and coached the under-20s, has handed over the armband after becoming assistant to first-team boss Gary Thornton and taking on a bigger function in the senior ranks.

Long-serving hooker Lee, 25, has now been named team captain after being vice-captain last season and former Super League second-row Jason Golden, 28, who is planning on having a big 2014 to repay the club after only managing four appearances last term due to injury, has been named club captain.

Ford said: “For me to be able to focus on playing well after my responsibilities increased ten-fold off the pitch, I needed to sacrifice something and it was the right decision by Gary to give the captaincy to someone else.

“Jack’s one of our key players. He’s in the hub of things, organising things and he already has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders.“His best quality is that he’s a tough competitor and uncompromising and hopefully that toughness will be reflected in the rest of the squad and throughout the club.

“Jason is a fantastic professional and the rest of the players would do well to follow his lead.

“He does the right things before training, in training and after training. It’s inspirational to see someone who’s played at the level he has played at training to the standards he does. It lifts everyone around him to do the same.

“I have the utmost respect for Jason as an individual and as a professional.”

Ford, 31, is also delighted with how pre-season has been going.

“We’re working really well as a coaching team, planning and reviewing sessions cohesively,” he said, referring to Thornton, himself and fellow assistant Mick Ramsden, as well as the new fitness chiefs.

“We want to make the environment at York the best for the players to learn and develop and we as a coaching staff have to deliver every week.

“The feedback we’re getting from the boys is great and they’re looking great in training. We’re sharp and everyone is enthusiastic and positive.

“We’re put a lot of emphasis so far on getting defensive structures up to scratch and we’re going to focus on attack now.

“I’m excited. I like my (day) job but I can’t wait to finish and do the rugby stuff.”

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