YORK City Knights prop James Green believes that the club’s play-offs finish last season should be a “minimum target” in 2020.

In their first season back in the Betfred Championship after the 2018 League One title win, York secured a third-placed finish at the expense of high-spending clubs such as Featherstone, Leigh and Bradford - whom Green has been brought in from.

Moving forward into the new season, the challenge for the Knights will be how they cope with the heightened external expectations upon them.

Head coach James Ford has recruited six players to the squad thus far, including towering 6ft 6in forward Green, as he looks to continue the Knights’ recent success.

And, the former Super League middle Green thinks another spot in the play-offs is a task which is more than achievable for York in 2020.

“They definitely set the bar high last season with their third-placed finish and their run in the play-offs,” he said.

“But, I see that as the minimum target moving forward.

"It’s now about proving ourselves to everyone else again because the team proved everyone wrong last season.

“I think they’ve recruited really well over the off-season and they’ve retained lots of key players too, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t do as well next season.

Green wasn’t a part of the Bradford sides which faced York in the Championship last season, but he did feature from the bench for the Bulls in the Knights’ memorable 30-28 victory at Odsal in July last year.

York raced into a 24-0 lead after less than half an hour that afternoon, before surviving a second-half fightback to take what proved to be two pivotal points in their third tier title victory.

“They were a team that just wouldn’t go away,” recalls Green.

“You could tell that they were a very hard-working side that did the little things for each other.

“When I played against them it was in League 1 and I’d just made the step down from Super League to join Bradford.

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“I used to research my opponents a lot but to be honest, I didn’t know who the players were that I was playing against.

“I certainly found out because they did belt me a few times in the middle. It was a back-and-forward game and their middles refused to give up.

“I think that’s a positive when you see players going around doing that. Hopefully with myself, Washy and Clarky coming into what is already a strong pack, then we can put it some good performances this season.

“I don’t want this to sound offensive, but they’re not a team of superstars and they’ve not got a load of money.

“But they clearly buy into what Fordy has been coaching and have worked very hard to achieve that as you saw by their results last season.

“They didn’t blow many teams away but they always found a way to seal wins in really close games.”

Green was one of several players to have left Bradford over the off-season amidst their financial troubles, which saw them previously placed into special measures, which restricted them from signing new players.

“It was a difficult decision to leave Bradford, because I did enjoy my time there,” explained Green. “Some of the things that went on around the club was tough to go through.

“At times it did bring us together. The players and staff were a close bunch and at times it did feel like it was us against everyone else.

“But it did get exhausting when you came into training every week and were being asked to concentrate on rugby league but there always seemed to be some off-field issue coming up that you had to get past.

“You try to put that to the back of your mind but eventually it does get the better of you.

“In the end, I had to put myself and job security first rather than the off-field politics of it all.

“Now it does look like there is light at the end of the tunnel for the club with the new consortium coming in.

“Things are looking more positive, but they have lost a lot of players. They’ve got a small squad at the minute and I just hope that everyone that is still there does well moving forward.”