YORK City Knights have continued their recruitment for the 2020 season by confirming the signing of hometown half-back Ben Johnston.

The Halifax playmaker has been rumoured for a move back to York for several months but now the deal has been confirmed by the club.

It confirms a return to his hometown side for the former York Acorn amateur who previously played for the club between 2012 and 2013, during which time he scored 12 tries in just 17 games.

The York-born Johnston, who attended Knights games during his childhood, began his career at Super League side Castleford - where he played twice in the top flight - before his spell at York.

In 2014, he moved to Halifax where he established himself as a vital regular in a side which has earned three top four finishes and a Challenge Cup semi-final spot in the past five seasons.

Over the course of his time with the Blue and Whites, the 27-year-old scored 49 tries in 123 games for the club.

Last month, Johnston's departure from the club was confirmed with his next destination now sealed.

York head coach James Ford, who has previously played with Johnston and coached him at Lock Lane too, expressed his joy at securing Johnston's signature.

Ford said: “I’m absolutely delighted to bring Ben to the club.

"I’m confident he’ll bring a different dimension to our attacking game with his running and reactive threat.

“Ben’s a great kid who will fit in really well and he was excited about being challenged to break into our team.”

Johnston added: “I always wanted to return to my hometown club. Fordy was my amateur coach so feel I owe a lot to him.

"I would have never played Super League or Championship with out his influence.

“I feel like the club is building something special on the field with a really tough and competitive squad, and off the field with the new stadium.

“After a great 2019 season we will have a bit of a target on our heads, but we will be prepared for that.

"I just want to add to what seems a great group of lads."