YORK Acorn coach Josh Mortimer believes that the club is as “well prepared as it could be” financially for the current lockdown period.

Acorn have been out of action since March 14 following the suspension of the National Conference League (NCL) season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, the Rugby Football League (RFL) and the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) have announced that they will offer financial support to the amateur game totalling £1million and £50,000 respectively.

Mortimer though is confident that Acorn have their house in order to cope through this tough climate.

“It’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“But, luckily the club has been well run and the people that manage our finances do so really well.

“I’m lead to believe that the club is in a very strong financial place.

“We had a large development fund for all of the teams that we run out of the club, the rugby, the darts and the running sides.

“The club’s currently putting in two new kitchens into the clubhouse, so the club currently isn’t looking to tighten its budget, it’s actually spending money through this.

“There’s also plans to decorate the place.

“Yes, this crisis will have a big impact on ourselves and on everybody and I think that some of the staff at the clubhouse have gone on furlough.

“The club is as well prepared as it could be, but we may feel the effects in the long-term.

“We did really well with sponsorship this year. But, because everyone is having to tighten their belts, will we have that same level of sponsorship next year?

“That’s where the longer-term effects will be felt.

“The club is in a good position financially, so it’s not doom and gloom around the club.

“I can’t imagine that there is too many clubs at our level that are in our position.”

Acorn’s players are continuing to train through this period. But, Mortimer admits that during his playing days, his motivation for training came when he had a match only days away - a much different scenario to the present with no return date yet set in the NCL’s plans for regionalised groups.

“We’ve been running a few fitness challenges,” said Mortimer of his side’s lockdown training methods.

“The lads have taken it upon themselves to have a 5k running competition and it’s staggered so that it’s based upon each player’s weight ratio.

“I’ve asked the lads to try and stay in some sort of physical condition.

“We’ve worked hard during pre-season and the boys have got really fit.

“But now, it is impossible for them to maintain that.

“But, it’s about making sure that they’re not just sitting around doing nothing for X amount of time.

“Even if it is just going out for a walk, it’s about making sure that they’re doing something, obviously within reason.

“I’m really happy with what the players are doing in a really tough situation.

“I know that a fair few were struggling with injuries, so I’ve told them to take things steady and to try and be ready for when the season restarts again.

“We may well only get a week’s notice and we’ll have to make sure that we come out firing.”

“I know that when I played, I trained to be better at rugby,” added Mortimer. "I didn’t train or go to the gym because I enjoyed it!

“I never went for a run or a bike ride because I enjoyed it, it was all about making me better for a game.

“The lads’ mental toughness is being tested quite a lot at the minute.

“I’m usually quite critical as a coach, but I’m trying to be really positive about all this.”

While almost every competitive side will be disappointed about sport coming to a halt, Acorn may be especially so, considering they were just two matches into their NCL premier division season, having won promotion last year.

And though they were yet to register a victory, there were positive signs from their 30-34 defeat to Underbank Rangers and the 24-24 draw at Featherstone Lions in the opening two rounds of the season.

“Underbank were up there among the favourites to win the league and they’ve got some really good players,” continued the Acorn boss.

“They’d just been beaten by Bradford Bulls in the Challenge Cup and they really didn’t disgrace themselves in that game.

“Did we catch them call with a bit of a hangover from the Challenge Cup? Maybe. We were really proud of how we competed.

“You will always have people who are doom and gloom about your chances, but it’s nice to shut them up a little bit.

“Even with our crippling injury list, I was still able to get 17 players out on the field who are giving 100 per cent commitment.

“That is all that I ever ask from my team, commitment and desire. If they don’t show that, then I’m disappointed.

“I can only say that, since I’ve been coach, I’ve not had that on one occasion, which isn’t a bad return.”