NEW York City Knights half-backs Brendan O'Hagan and Morgan Smith are looking forward to getting out on the pitch at the LNER Community Stadium in front of fans.

The pair both arrived at the Knights in the autumn, with Smith signing from London Broncos in September and Australian O'Hagan linking up with James Ford's side in October.

Their first taste of competitive action at home for the Knights is therefore likely to come at the new stadium.

Commenting on the new facilities, O’Hagan said: “It’s unreal. It’s my second time coming in and it keeps getting better. It’s a great facility and it’s great for our city to have a place like this to get our fans involved with.

“I’m looking forward to getting in to start playing and it’ll be good to see some fans in it.

“I’m sure it’s going to be nice and loud in here once we get some fans in. It probably doesn’t even matter whether it’s 100 or 8,000 people in here - I’m sure it’s going to be nice and loud.

“I know the crowd gets nicely involved over here. You see online on social media, all the fans getting vocal about it and it’ll be really nice to see them all in it."

Last week, the Knights found out that they were not to claim the 12th spot in Super League, with Leigh Centurions favoured by Lord Jonathan Caine's panel instead.

Both have played at the top levels of club rugby league in their home countries. O'Hagan has NRL experience, notably with Canberra Raiders during their NRL Grand Final-winning year, while Smith spent 2019 in Super League with London, having also played in the top tier with Warrington Wolves.

Despite the disappointment of not returning to Super League for next, Smith is taking the positives.

Moreover, he is hopeful the new facilities at the ground can help in their bid to win promotion on the field.

“The way I, and most of the squad, see it, it’s one little step back to projectile forward," Smith explained.

“It would have been nice to get promoted without really doing much on the pitch but it will be extra special if we can get through a full season winning games, doing that together, and then to be rewarded with the biggest prize of promotion.

“It will just be something special.

“We’ve got the gym for recovery, the swimming pool and the indoor sports hall.

"It will only aid our preparation and when we do play out on the pitch, it will motivate us to play for the fans and get the win."

The architecture of the stands looks like it will funnel sound from the terraces onto the pitch, which is not very far removed from the front rows of each side.

All of this, it is hoped, should contribute to the fan experience and their impact with the players on the field.

O’Hagan said: “I’ve been saying how good it is just sitting in the stands and how good a view you’re seeing.

" It’s going to be really exciting for the first bunch who get to come in and watch the first game.

“It’s obviously going to be a really exciting time.

"It’s been a tough year for everyone and not being able to see a lot of live sport.

"Our fans have just got to hang on a couple more months then they can get in here and we can play some good footy for them."