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George Elliott plotting top Knights haul
GEORGE ELLIOTT reckons York City Knights should aim for the Championship play-offs given the squad they have assembled.
Elliott, after some contract wrangling, becomes the 26th player to sign up for 2013, with the Knights’ off-season recruitment now almost over.
The Press understands fellow winger Ben Dent is also set to stay at Huntington Stadium, with the squad likely to be topped up by loan and dual-registration signings, aided by the mooted partnership with Super League outfit Hull.
Former Easingwold School pupil Elliott, whose performances alongside James Ford on York’s left flank provided some cheer in an otherwise awful 2012, is now aiming to usurp Ford as the team’s top try-scorer, and says the rest of the team should also set high targets.
“I enjoyed last season despite the adversity. It’s a good place to be and they’re good people to work with,” said the 21-year-old ex-Leeds dual-code starlet.
The threequarter, who notched ten touchdowns in 19 starts this year, added: “I finished as second-top try-scorer and it was a big learning curve, going from Under-20s Academy rugby to the Championship. I started the season not in the team but I concreted myself in that wing position with Fordy inside me.
“I’d like to be top-scorer next year – after Fordy beat me to it this year. We scored quite a few down that left side. We get on well and he’s a top-quality player. Hopefully that will carry on next season and bring more tries in a stronger squad.
“We’ve signed Sam Scott and Simon Brown from Sheffield, who won it this year. Plus we’ve brought in the likes of Jason Golden and Luke Hardbottle. It’s a good squad and if we don’t make the play-offs I think we should be disappointed.”
Elliott has agreed a two-year deal – a fortnight after The Press reported he had rejected a second offer. The 21-year-old explained the delay: “It was miscommunication as much as anything. But it’s all been sorted.”
His continued stay at his home-town club is partly thanks to player sponsorship from York firm Grosvenor Financial Consultants, where he is a trainee advisor. Grosvenor director Mark Pepper is, according to Elliott, a “mad-keen sportsman”.
“He wants to see me do well and play for York,” he said. “Playing here also fits in well with my work.”
New Knights boss Gary Thornton said: “I’m pleased we’ve finally completed the signing. George was a consistent performer in a struggling team, and should be better prepared for the rigours of the Championship. He’s a good athlete.”