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York City Knights hope to reach deals with Rob Spicer and Andy Bostock
YORK City Knights are hoping to give their squad – and their fans – a timely boost by bringing second-row stars Rob Spicer and Andy Bostock to Huntington Stadium.
Negotiations are well under way with the experienced Championship pair, and incoming Knights boss Gary Thornton is optimistic deals can be reached soon.
Bringing either or both to the Minster city would hand York’s long-suffering fans a fillip after they witnessed only one win in the 2012 league season. They would also act as ideal replacements for John Davies, who has signed for Batley, and Matt Garside, whose departure to Sheffield, as revealed by The Press, has been confirmed.
Thornton said: “I’m conscious we’ve got an inexperienced squad. We’ve targeted Championship players with experience and at good clubs and we identified Rob and Andy early on.
“It’s difficult to secure signatures but we’re quite a way down the line with negotiations and we want to get over the line.
“They are the type of players we want, with a bit of threat, a bit of strike out wide. I want to play expansive football with people like Andy Bostock and Rob Spicer creating things out wide.”
Clubs do not always go public with transfer targets for fear of alerting rivals to players’ availability and losing out on signatures, but it seems in this case the Knights are eager to make known the calibre of personnel they are seeking to bring in, to not only lift fans but also persuade potential recruits they will be at a club on the rise.
Thornton admitted: “It can be a Catch 22, but people need to know the club are serious.
“We’ve met both players and put our case across and made it clear we hope to be much stronger next year than this year. We need players of that quality to achieve that. We’ve made what we think are good offers.”
The Knights have been here before with Spicer, however. They were close to agreeing terms 12 months ago but he instead opted to stay at Dewsbury.
The Rams might yet have a say in both his and Bostock’s futures this time too. The Heavy Woollen club have left it late to open talks with potential signings and re-signings but are set to step that up now having last night named Wakefield assistant Glenn Morrison as head coach – a surprise announcement with former Knights player-boss Paul Broadbent, the ex-Great Britain prop, having been expected to take the reins permanently after his spell in caretaker charge.
Thornton said: “Rob’s been a quality Championship player for years. He’s had a few injury issues but he went very well at Dewsbury this year. He can defend but he also causes teams problems as a strong, wide-running forward who can handle the ball well. He ticks a lot of boxes.”
Bostock, 27, a big unit in the back row or at centre, would likewise be a notable addition, having starred in the Championship for Dewsbury and, currently, Featherstone, helping Rovers to last year’s title and going for a second crown this term.
Thornton added: “When I was at Batley Bulldogs, I hated the number of times he ruined my day by busting through holes.
“He’s unstoppable near the line and always causes teams problems. We need people who can cause opposition defences trouble.”