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Knights coaches focus turns to 2013 after 2012 woe
ASSISTANT-BOSS Mick Ramsden immediately turned his attentions to an “exciting” 2013 after York City Knights finally waved goodbye to a terrible 2012 season.
A second-half comeback could not give the Knights victory in the Championship wooden spoon decider against arch-rivals Hunslet at Huntington Stadium yesterday, meaning player-coach Chris Thorman endured a disappointing finish to his illustrious playing career.
The Geordie himself missed a touchline conversion to equalise as his injury-hit side fell 28-26 to end his debut season as a head coach bottom of the table. He now hangs up his boots to join Huddersfield’s back-room staff.
Ramsden again bemoaned too many errors from his side – but said he was now looking forward to starting afresh under new boss Gary Thornton.
“I’m really excited about next season,” he said. “I didn’t know Gary that well until recently but I like the things he’s been saying. He’s another coach I can learn off and work with.
“I will miss Chris but you’ve got to move on. I’m excited about some of the players we’re looking at and with the facilities we’re getting on the back of the new stadium. It’s a fresh start with new players.”
Among those newcomers are fringe Featherstone duo Tom Carr and Aaron Lyons, albeit yet to be confirmed by the club.
Ramsden added: “If you look back to November we were really excited about this season as well but once the squad started falling to pieces with injuries, all of a sudden we were struggling.
“Hopefully we’ve used up all of our bad luck and now we have a fresh start with a new coach and a new squad. It should be good.”
The Knights again had to field several novices in their line-up against a Hawks club who have been similarly hit by bad injury luck this term.
York trailed 22-4 just after half-time before a creditable comeback nearly brought some late-season joy.
Ramsden said: “There were just too many errors – that’s what cost us the game.
“When we started to play to the game plan, particularly in the second half, we started to break through.
“But we lost that game through our own errors. Some of our skill levels were poor, with some poor passes and fumbling the ball at dummy-half.”
He added: “I don’t know if there was some anxiety. Quite a few players have not played in a game as meaningful as this one – if you can call a wooden spoon decider meaningful – but we seemed to make more errors in this game than we did in our last three games against the top three.
“I was disappointed with some of the errors. Dropped balls were killing us and our completion rate was well down at half-time.”
Ramsden admitted the result, both yesterday and to the season as a whole, was not the send-off Thorman deserved, but he had high praise for the departing boss.
“He’s inspirational. Everything he does is professional and he sets such a good example. He’s also the fittest guy I know.
“Everyone who knows Chris knows what he’s about and how hard he’s worked. It’s been a tough year for us all but I’m sure he’s learned a lot about himself and I’m sure he’ll do well.”
Hunslet boss Barry Eaton added: “He’s been a fantastic servant to rugby league. He’s been a model professional.”