PACK star Tim Spears says extending his stay with York City Knights was a "very easy decision" after agreeing a one-year extension to his contract.

The former Featherstone Rovers captain joined the Knights on a one-year deal last winter after being surprisingly released from Post Office Road, becoming one of the new owners' marquee signings.

He will now remain at the on-the-up outfit until the end of the 2018 campaign - regardless of which division they are in - with head coach James Ford hailing the 33-year-old as "immensely important" to the team on and off the field.

Spears, one of the contenders for The Press Player of the Year accolade, said: “I’m delighted to get the deal sorted and extend my time at York for a further 12 months.

"York have been great to me since my arrival and it was a very easy decision to extend my stay here.

“The club enjoys first-class facilities, a great group of boys and excellent coaches.

"During my time here, it's been great to be a part of the club's continued improvement on and off the field and I look forward to continuing to grow our game and winning mentality into next season.

“For now, though, I'm pleased to get the deal sorted and concentrate solely on giving my all for the remainder of 2017.”

Spears, a former Championship winner with Featherstone, has been one of the key men as the new-look Knights, bouncing back from last year's off-field crises, have gone from rank outsiders for promotion in Kingstone Press League One to genuine play-off contenders.

They host Doncaster on Sunday aiming to strengthen their grip on fourth place, with Spears likely to return to action after a hamstring problem ruled him out of the defeat at Barrow Raiders last time out.

Lauding the loose-forward's retention at Bootham Crescent, Ford said: "I've enjoyed my first season working with Tim.

"He's a player with fantastic mental skills, a really good leader who has helped to improve attitudes in training.

"I feel we have developed one or two areas of his game, and it's great to see a bloke at 33 still willing to improve and work hard, and not only that but also help others to improve as well.

"His leadership and experience will be immensely important to us next year.

"His importance to us off the field is massive in terms of his leadership in and around training and team meetings.

"On the field, his grit and his desire to win is massively important.

"Our (regular season) victory at Keighley - how important was he in that game. Our home win over Doncaster as well. His ability in the big games to turn up and pull out really tough performances for the team - it does not go unnoticed."

He added: “I’m delighted that he is going around again. He’s brought a degree of experience and professionalism to our young squad this season, especially when certain games have been right in the balance.

“He plays a part in the culture here on and off the field, which has been invaluable.”