YORK City Knights have announced that outside-back AJ Towse will stay with the club for 2021 on community dual-registration terms from Heworth ARLFC.

Like Toby Warren - who signed on community dual-reg terms on Wednesday - 17-year-old Towse came through the Knights’ Excel program before being invited into the first-team fold.

Towse joined up with the squad ahead of the 2020 season, initially on trial, featuring as an interchange in the friendly draw at Featherstone Rovers in January.

After impressing with the Excel programme - with which his first involvement came as an under-14 - head coach James Ford has sought to involve him in the first-team set-up.

Ford said: “AJ is a medium- to long-term project that I feel is coming along very positively. After an expected difficult initial transition AJ was really starting to highlight his potential with his skill, understanding and his athleticism.

“The initial qualities that attracted me to AJ - his drive, tenacity and willingness to take responsibility for his own development - are even more evident and I truly believe that these characteristics will see AJ continue to develop at a rapid rate.”

He added: “I’m really looking forwards to seeing where he’s at during our pre-season preparations.”

Towse himself outlined his delight at extending his stay with the team. “It couldn’t be more special to be back for another season at my hometown club,” he said.

“I want to take each opportunity and give it everything.

“There are some big things coming and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”