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No three cheers yet from record man Thor
CHRIS THORMAN has already equalled one minor York City Knights club record and indeed could well set a new club best tomorrow – but it’s fair to say he reacted with indifference when told the news.
Stats fans in the Huntington Stadium faithful may be interested to learn that only once before since the club rose out of the York Wasps ashes ten years ago have they started a season with two consecutive victories.
Similarly, only once has a previous Knights head coach begun his tenure with two consecutive victories.
Furthermore, should they beat Gateshead at home tomorrow, then the Geordie would become the first Knights boss to achieve a hat-trick of wins either at the start of his reign or at the start of a season.
Okay, it’s not a particularly notable record, especially for a man who holds a Guinness World record for the fastest-ever hat-trick (six minutes 54 seconds, for Huddersfield v Doncaster in 2002) and the most points in a rugby league game (56, for York v Northumbria University last year), and Thorman was markedly non-plussed, so much so that he even reverted to using the old “each game as it comes” cliche in reaction to the stat.
“I’m not really bothered to be honest,” he said. “I don’t really care about the past, only about the present and the future. We need to focus on each game as it comes.”
He did admit to being happy to start with two wins – the opening 29-18 victory at Doncaster and Thursday night’s 30-22 win over Swinton – but he was not taking a third for granted.
“We have to turn up tomorrow and continue our good results but also improve our performance,” he said.
For anyone interested, the last time the Knights began a season with two wins on the bounce was in 2009, at the start of Paul March’s second year at the helm. They won 34-10 at Workington and beat Whiteheaven 36-6 at home, but then lost at Batley, all in the Northern Rail Cup.
The last Knights head coach to begin his tenure with a brace of victories was Thorman’s predecessor, Dave Woods, who took over the mantle from James Ratcliffe in the summer of 2010 and promptly beat Gateshead and Doncaster before losing to Hunslet, then coached by March.
The Knights’ first player-boss, Paul Broadbent, lost to Hull KR in his 2003 opener and, although York beat amateurs Skirlaugh in the Challenge Cup next time out, it took six games to get an inaugural win over professional opposition.
Richard Agar began his 2004 season in charge with a defeat at Batley before embarking on a six-match winning streak.
The Knights’ National League Two title-winning campaign in 2005 under Mick Cook began with defeat to Castleford in the Northern Rail Cup before victory came against Hunslet.
His following season at the helm began with two Northern Rail Cup defeats before victory was achieved at Featherstone.
The first time the Knights won their seasonal opener was in 2007, under Cook, when they won at Gateshead, but they then lost at Halifax.
March’s tenure began awfully, the club waiting 12 games before recording a victory in 2008, away at Blackpool.
The 2009 season might have begun better for March, but he was sacked that summer, with replacement James Ratcliffe starting his time in charge with a victory over Workington before losing to Hunslet – who had just been taken over by the axed March.
Ratcliffe’s successor, Woods, began his reign in style with a 60-12 thrashing of his former club Gateshead and followed up with a 32-16 victory over Doncaster. But his winning start was also ended by March’s Hawks.
THE Knights’ Co-operative Championship match away to Swinton has been rearranged due to the needs of television.
The match, at nomadic Swinton’s current Leigh Sporting Village base, was originally penned in for Thursday, May 3, at 7.30pm, to be screened live by Premier Sports, the new broadcaster of Championship games. But that would clash with a Blue Square Bet Premier play-off tie that night, also on Premier Sports.
It has therefore been put back to Saturday, May 5, kick off 1pm. (It was actually going to be 4pm that afternoon but that would have clashed with the FA Cup final, so it was brought forward a few hours.) Incidentally, the switch is probably a good thing for York sports fans, given that York City could well be in those Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs.
It’s also a good thing the Knights’ game won’t be played in the usual Sunday slot, too, as City could face a play-off that day, too.
The first legs of the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs semi-finals are on Wednesday and Thursday, May 2 and 3, with the second legs on Sunday and Monday, May 6 and 7, all on Premier Sports.
THE draw for the naming rights to the Popular Stand at Huntington Stadium will be made at half-time of tomorrow’s match against Gateshead.
Cash raised will go to the squad builder fund. Raffle tickets are still available, priced at £50, from Simon Hall on 07887 811854.