YORK City Knights are continuing their drive to bring through local talent by giving Heworth ARLC youngster Joe Deighton a debut in the under-20s reserves - alongside a new incomer from Super League.
The 19-year-old Deighton, a centre or loose-forward who used to play for York Acorn juniors and has also represented the York College RL development centre, was formerly on Featherstone Rovers’ academy books but has been one of several up-and-coming local amateurs to have begun training with Knights U20s reserves coach Mick Ramsden.
He gets an instant opportunity in reserve-grade as Ramsden’s charges take on Keighley at Huntington Stadium tonight (8pm).
Also in the line-up is James Clare, who gets a surprise runout on dual-registration alongside clubmate Ben Reynolds, who made his first-team debut for York in their Championship One victory at Hunslet last weekend.
Clare, 22, who scored eight tries in nine Super League appearances last year, could be made available for future league games for York but Cas are unlikely to allow any dual-reg players to play for the Knights in Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie against Whitehaven, to prevent them becoming cup-tied.
Knights development manager Jack Stearman said of Deighton: “We’re inviting young players from amateur clubs across the city to train on Saturday mornings.
“Joe is one of the older ones and has trained with the reserve team a couple of times on a Sunday and he gets an opportunity to push through for a regular reserve-team spot.”
Former Hunslet threequarter Josh Nathaniel, sidelined for the opening two first-team games, returns from injury, and forward Jack Pickles is also down to play, despite recent concerns of a hernia.
Clare will start on the wing, possibly inside James Morland who continues his education in his new centre position.
Knights reserves (probable): L Hardcastle, Clare, Morland, Nathaniel, Tomlinson, Talbot, Reynolds, Pickles, Brining, Harper, Craig, Swift, Iley. Subs: Stubbs, Batty, A Dent, Deighton.
Admission tonight is free for season-ticket holders, or £4 on the main gate (£1 concessions).