NEW boss Gary Thornton’s reign as York City Knights boss will begin on the bus with the longest trek of the campaign – a trip to Whitehaven, writes Peter Martini.

Fixtures for the new-look 14-team Championship season will be officially announced on Monday – see The Press or that day for the full list – but it has already been made public that the Knights will kick off with the 290-mile round trip to west Cumbria to face a side now coached by former York boss Dave Woods.

That game, against one of the four teams promoted from Championship One last term, will be on Sunday, February 3, with a 3pm kick off.

The first league match at Huntington Stadium is a week later against Swinton, who finished two places above basement team York in the Championship in 2012 but were the only outfit Chris Thorman’s Knights men defeated in their 18 league games.

No other fixtures have been made public but rumours abound that the Good Friday encounter will be a plum home game against 2011 champions and 2012 table-toppers Featherstone Rovers.