HEAD coach James Ford has hailed the ever-growing relationships between the players and fans following the fun-filled finale to York City Knights’ regular season.

Busloads of supporters travelled to Halifax for the last game of the 27-match campaign, many of them in Hawaiian fancy dress and party mood.

They were rewarded with a come-from-behind 14-8 victory, which capped the Knights’ remarkable third-placed finish. The team now travel to Toulouse on Saturday for the first game of their play-off bid.

“They were brilliant. They’ve been brilliant all season,” said Ford of the travelling faithful. “It was all in the right spirit as well with the way they got behind the players.

“The stewards were complimenting the York fans on their numbers and how loud they were, and in the context of how they were behaving as well because one or two them would have had a couple of shandies, I suspect.

“If you look at some other clubs and how their supporters behave, that’s a massive tick in the box for me for our supporters.

“Their interaction with the players was also great and shows the boys how much their effort means to the supporters.”

The Knights’ upturn since the takeover by chairman Jon Flatman at the end of 2016 has been well documented, and Ford added: “A few of the fans wanted to get Jon down (from the stands) too and say thank you to him as well, which is really good.

“The distance this club has travelled – you can’t put it into words. The relationships we’ve now got with people in and around York – it’s all great and I’m excited about the future.”

On that future – which could remarkably yet end in Super League – he added: “We’re going in the right direction. We’ve got some big decisions to make and some tough decisions to make.

“We need to build on what we’ve done this year, whether that be in Super League or in the Championship.

“The players have worked incredibly hard since early November to put themselves in this position. The boys deserve a massive pat on the back for that and nothing is going to change in their approach. We will keep striving to be better and to work hard for one another, and we’ll see that takes us.”