YORK City Knights captain Tim Spears believes he’s still got plenty to offer to the side after penning a new deal with the club for the 2020 season.

Aged 35 and now entering his 18th successive campaign as a professional, there were question marks about whether Spears would continue for another season at the club.

Last week it was confirmed that the back rower would feature for the Knights in 2020, where he has already cemented himself as a key member of the squad during their promotion from League One and their subsequent third-place Championship finish.

The former Castleford and Featherstone forward described the decision to stay on for 2020 as an easy one.

“I’ve always been proud to represent York and I’m delighted to be staying for 2020,” Spears said.

“I’ve really loved my time at York since moving here and when the opportunity was there to play on for another year at the club, I didn’t think twice about signing on again.

“It was a pretty straightforward decision to sign a new deal to be honest after the successful couple of seasons we’ve had at the club recently and the way that the whole club is at the moment.

“It’s a really exciting time at the club at the minute and it does feel like we’re on the up.

“Off the field too hopefully we’ll be moving into the new Community Stadium soon and I know that that is something that all of the players are really excited about.

“We’ve brought in some new players as well which will freshen up the squad a bit. Washy (Danny Washbrook), Clarky (Chris Clarkson) and Sharp (Will Sharp) will bring experience to the squad and I’m excited about Johno (Ben Johnston) and Green (James Green) too.”

Spears’ career began at Super League side Castleford where he made his debut in the top flight in 2003 and went onto make three appearances in total for the Tigers.

Fast forward more than 17 years and Spears says that he still enjoys playing, arguably more so than he did at the start of his career.

“I do still enjoy it massively,” he added.

“It might sound a little bit of a strange thing to say, but I do think you enjoy the game more as you get older and more experienced.

“I think you get a better grip of your nerves because you’ve been there and done it before. I think you especially enjoy those big games more as well because you’re savouring those occasions.

“At my age, it does dawn on you that you’re not going to play on forever.

“Whereas in your early 20s, you think that you can play forever.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at York so far. I’m enjoying training as much as I ever have done. I’m still going sessions on my own and doing those extras as well afterwards.

“I do think I would miss it terribly were I to stop playing. I have still got that passion for the game, for training and for playing.”

Spears missed only six of the Knights’ 29 league matches last season and hasn’t been missing through through injury for any considerable amount of time since his move to the club in 2017.

“I know I am knocking on a bit!”, Spears laughed. “But, in all seriousness, I’m always hard on myself and I’d like to think that I’m honest about my own game.

“I still feel like I’m as good as I can be. Obviously there does come a time when do you get a bit older when there are things that you can’t do anymore.

“I know some lads around my age that don’t do certain training sessions and have nights off or have sore bodies after games, but I can honestly say that I don’t feel like that.

“I still love being in training and obviously I love playing too.

“I still feel like I’ve got something to offer to the team and obviously the club feel the same way too.”