“I WASN’T going to go anywhere else."

So said Chris Clarkson after signing a new deal to remain with York City Knights for the 2021 season.

The forward became the first Knights player could commit his future to the club earlier this month, with hooker Will Jubb later becoming the second player.

And Clarkson, who joined from Super League title challengers Castleford last year, says he had no hesitation in penning a new contract.

“I’m really pleased to have signed for next year at York," Clarkson told the Betfred Championship podcast.

“I started late in 2019 in pre-season. We started the season a little bit slow, we didn’t win any league games, but we were building up to something good, so it’s a shame that’s been sidetracked.

“But we can focus on next year now and put all our energy into that.

"It’s great for me to get my future sorted for next year and it’s good to get it done so early. I have to thank Jon (Flatman, chairman) and James (Ford, head coach) for that.

“I wasn’t going to go anywhere else, I was really happy to stay and now I can focus on 2021."

Clarkson was a stand-out during a tough start to the 2020 Championship season for York, which saw them lose their first four league games against fellow promotion chasers Toulouse, Leigh, Halifax and London.

“There was a lot of positivity despite the four losses that we had," added the former Leeds Rhinos, Widnes Vikings, Hull Kingston Rovers and England Knights back rower.

“The lads were all still positive and they could sense that we were going in right direction so it was a shame to lose that, but we’ll start again and get ready for next year.

“The club is in a good position, everyone is really positive and looking forward to the future."

York have been out of action since March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On lockdown, Clarkson said: “It’s not been too bad to be honest, I’ve enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

“When we started, we didn’t know how long we would be off for. Everyone was training really hard, showing each other what we were doing on Strava and everyone was digging in.

“We soon realised how long we would be out (of action) for, so we’ve been having a rest for now and then things will start again in the next couple of weeks.

“It’s probably been beneficial for a lot of people to step back from the game for a little bit and clear their mind and let their bodies recover.

“I think it will have benefitted a lot of lads throughout the Championship going into next year."

Clarkson admitted though that he has missed the sport "massively" though.

“I’ve probably only had a maximum of six weeks off (from the sport) in the last 20 years or so," he continued.

“It’s been different but quite enjoyable at the same time.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve not had this long away from a team environment before, so I’m looking forward to jumping straight back into that."

It hoped that the club will be able to begin 2021 at their new home at the LNER Community Stadium.

Clarkson said: “The new stadium is phenomenal. I went there a few weeks ago with a few of the lads and it’s top notch!

“I’m really looking forward to getting out there in front of the York fans and playing on such a great surface.

“I think that it will draw a lot of people to York, because we’ve got great facilities."