“WE know what we’re getting into and we want it,” said York City Knights head coach James Ford of his club’s bid to join Super League.

With the application deadline on Monday fast approaching, Ford has insisted the Knights will peddle no excuses should they be the team to claim the 12th place in the top tier next season.

In 2016, the Knights were pulled from the brink of demise to be crowned champions of League One just two years later. Last season, they made the play-offs in the Championship, and have been making preparations for another campaign in the second tier.

Now, they hope to make the step up to Super League, where, it has been confirmed, a reduced central distribution of £1million awaits the incoming team.

It is a challenge, indeed, but one that Ford feels the Knights’ hard work on and off the field over the past four years has shown they are ready to accept.

During his playing career, Ford featured in Super League for Castleford Tigers and Widnes Vikings - and right now, there is not much that would give him greater satisfaction than to return as the coach of York City Knights.

“I would love the opportunity to coach in Super League and I want that to be with York,” the coach enthused.

“I think that, as a collective, we have shown immense progress on the field.

“Just look at 2016 to where we are now, and a lot of that is down to the players and their hard work.

“We have good a number of players who have played in Super League, some who have won Super League and the Challenge Cup, and been club captains in Super League.

“I feel we’ve got a good squad.

“I’m desperate for the opportunity to coach York in Super League. We would love the challenge.

“We’ve shown in the last three, four years that we don’t make excuses about referees or other clubs having more resources than we had at the time, and we wouldn’t use any in Super League.

“We wouldn’t use lower distribution as an excuse or coming to the table in terms of recruitment as an excuse.

“We’re fully aware of what we’re getting into, and we want it. We want this opportunity and to go and fight to retain our Super League status if we get the chance.

“The guys off the field have shown that anything is possible if you work hard enough,” he continued. “I think the players have shown that as well in the results and progress they have detailed as well.

“I’m cautiously optimistic because if we don’t win this application process, things don’t change. We’ve still got to aspire to the best we can be and try and win promotion in a different way.

“We’re a very good squad and the facilities would still be there and we would continue to aspire to become a Super League club eventually.”

Up against the Knights in the race for the 12th Super League spot are Bradford Bulls, Leigh Centurions, Featherstone Rovers, London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique.

Of the sextet, all finished in the top six of the Championship in either 2018 or 2019.

Toulouse secured a second-placed end to 2019 just a point ahead of the Knights. The French side, along with Fev and Leigh, were in the top six for both seasons.

It has also been reported that next season’s Championship will again comprise 14 teams, as one side from League One will rise to fill the place of the team ascending into Super League.

There had been proposals to merge the two divisions into one tier and play matches across two regional conferences, with an eight-team play-off at the end.