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Ross Potter aims to weave his commercial magic
NOTABLE recruits might be afoot at Huntington Stadium given that talks are ongoing with Castleford about two new dual-registrations – but York City Knights are hopeful they’ve made a similarly significant signing off the field too.
Ross Potter, the former commercial manager at York City, has come on board in the last fortnight to take up the equivalent role at the rugby league club.
And both he and the club are hoping his knowledge of the sports business will help to stand the club in good financial stead.
Since leaving City at the start of their current season last summer, Potter has worked for an estate agents on a six-month consultancy period, but he is delighted to be back on the sporting scene.
“I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
“It’s great to be back in sport. I’m really impressed by the set-up behind the scenes here. They’ve got good sponsorship opportunities and good corporate areas at the stadium as well, and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into it.”
Potter was at Bootham Crescent for three years, during which time he oversaw the commercial activities surrounding two Wembley trips – the 2009 FA Trophy final and the 2010 Blue Square Bet Premier playoff final.
Asked why he left, he said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at City.
There had been a number of changes at the club and I just felt it was the right time to move on and find something new.”
He added: “Going to Wembley was a great experience for a club like City. Hopefully I’ll be going to watch them there again next month in the FA Trophy final – and hopefully again in the play-offs.”
Potter has effectively taken over the Knights role from David Hick, who had been appointed as a marketing and sponsorship manager in February – the first such role at the Knights since Simon Moat departed in spring 2010 – but left the club for personal reasons a month ago.
He has agreed a part performance- related package. He said: “I’d heard on the grapevine there was an opportunity at the Knights so I contacted the general manager, Ian Wilson, and went for a chat, and it went from there.”
It is probably not a thriving time for commercial activity at lower league sporting clubs at present given the current economic climate.
The Knights’ difficult start to the Co-operative Championship has probably not helped either, as reflected by decreasing attendances – some dropping below the four-figure mark.
But Potter remained upbeat. “The economic climate has been difficult for the last few years,” he explained. “You’ve got to be realistic with your pricing and be up front and honest with sponsors.
“Sport is still popular in York.
Businesses want to be seen to be getting behind their local sporting teams, whether that’s the Knights or York City. There is still big interest in both clubs and there’s still a market there and genuine interest.
“Although attendances are not the highest they’ve been, there are still plenty of people going to Huntington Stadium.
“Approximately 100,000 people go through the gates every year, with the Knights, the athletics and the community events there, so it’s still an attractive proposition to advertise there.”
Aldous rises to top of player of year standings
IT is probably a match most involved with York City Knights might want to forget but we have to quickly revisit last Sunday’s defeat at Hunslet to award the latest Press Player of the Year points.
Paul King provided something different and was man of the match on his long-awaited return from injury, so gets three points, while Jack Aldous was his battling self and gets two, and Adam Sullivan was solid if unspectacular and gets one.
It means major movement at the summit as former Hull youngster Aldous has risen to top spot in the standings, while ex-Hull star King jumps to joint-second despite having played only two games.
The Press Player of the Year standings: Aldous 7pts, Thorman 6, King 6, Clarke 5, Bush 4, Tansey 4, Ford 4, Sutton 4, Sullivan 4, Green 3, Garside 3, Lee 3, Hellewell 3, Turner 3, Freer 1.
IT’S probably fair to assume a former Knights favourite is enjoying his rugby league a fair bit more than his old team-mates at present.
Lee Waterman, pictured, was Championship One’s top pointsscorer in 2010 as York won promotion through the play-offs but struggled to hold down a first-team place in the Championship last year under Dave Woods, who argued some of the flaws in his game would be exposed in the higher tier.
He’s back in Championship One again now, though, with Doncaster - and few Knights fans will be surprised to know he is hitting the points trail again too, even though he has handed over goal-kicking duties to former Super League star Paul Cooke.
He is currently the second highest try-scorer in that tier with seven tries from four games – the same number of tries the Knights have scored put together – behind teammate (and centre/wing partner) Tom Hodson, who has ten. Both have scored in five consecutive games, with Waterman getting a hat-trick in last week’s win over London Skolars while Hodson bagged five.
Waterman also equalled a club record when scoring six tries in their Challenge Cup third round win over Sharlston. They face a big fourth round tie at Bradford tomorrow.
The Press reported, ahead of York’s Northern Rail Cup match against Doncaster at the start of term, that Waterman never really wanted to leave Huntington Stadium. Apparently player-boss Chris Thorman has told him the Knights would continue to monitor his performances, not ruling out a return in 2013. Seems he’s
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