YORK City Knights are set to sign amateur forward James Ward on contract terms after he impressed in his two games.

Coach Mick Cook will also have another look at fellow trialist Lee Lingard, Ward's team-mate from Sharlston, with a view to signing him following his try-scoring debut against Castleford last week.

Ward played for the Knights against Featherstone this month and also came into the team at late notice against Cas after Tom Buckenham pulled up in the warm-up.

Cook said: "James is going to join us for full-time training and we'll be speaking to him about signing this week. He's pretty solid. He's willing to learn and he's given a good account of himself."

The duo will add numbers to Cook's injury-ravaged squad which faces two games in four days over Easter, away to Hunslet in the last Northern Rail Cup group match tomorrow (ko 7.30pm) and at home to Swinton on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm), in the long-awaited LHF National League Two opener.

Cook is hoping some of his crocks will also be back this weekend after having a dozen players sit out last week.

Full-back Matt Blaymire (shoulder) should be okay by Monday if not Friday, goalkicking back Chris Ross (hamstring) will hopefully play at least one game and centre Dan Potter (shoulder) is hoping to be fit for Monday.

Captain Chris Levy (leg wound) should be okay for Friday, although Paul Thorman's performance against Cas will have given Cook a nice problem as regards the scrum-half slot, while Lee Paterson (back) should return this weekend and Jonny Liddell (ankle) and Neil Law (foot) both came through okay against Cas.

Craig Forsyth should be back tomorrow after being unavailable, while fellow prop Buckenham (knee) could also return after his withdrawal last week.

Cook explained: "It was a massive game for us and we didn't want players getting out there only to be struggling or getting worse. James Ward had been on holiday all week but stepped in at the last minute and did a good job."

In worse news, Ian Kirke (calf) may need another fortnight and Mark Cain is unlikely to be risked after his accident at work which saw him break one finger and take the tip off another, while Mick Ramsden (ankle) is back in full training but is still "getting a bit of a twinge" so is unlikely to play.

The Knights' Supporters Club will now be running just one bus to the Hunslet game on Friday.

Pick-up points and times are: Haxby 5pm, Huntington Stadium 5.20, New Lane 5.25, Clarence Street 5.35, Blossom Street 5.45, Tadcaster Road 5.50pm. The return coach leaves at 9.30pm.

Only Supporters Club members can use this service. To book, call 07958 569266 stating your name, membership number, number of seats wanted and place of pick-up. Fares are: adults £7, under-16s £5, over-60s £5, under-12s £1.

The Knights' offices will be closed tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday and be open from 11am to 2.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday before the game against Swinton.

Updated: 10:14 Thursday, March 24, 2005