ADAM CUTHBERTSON has expressed his delight at the prospect of having played his final match behind-closed-doors.

Sports fans were allowed to return to grounds from Monday and York City Knights are set to host 1,000 supporters when they face Oldham on Sunday (3pm).

The Betfred Championship match sees York play in front of fans for the first time since March last year.

It is also the first time that the LNER Community Stadium, which opened its doors in February, has been able to allow spectators inside.

Knights forward Cuthbertson has played more matches than most behind-closed-doors, having featured frequently for Leeds Rhinos last year before his move to North Yorkshire.

And he is pleased that, all being well with Covid-19 measures, the sport is now seeing the back of empty grounds.

“It was really strange," said the Australian of the last 12 months.

"But we’re quite fortunate in rugby league that, during the pandemic, we’ve still had a really good product to watch on the TV.

“When you put in the crowd noise, the rugby league has still been a really good watch. I’ve watched a lot of other sports, like football and basketball.

“In those, for me, no matter how much crowd noise you put in the background, it doesn’t make up for the lack of crowd. They really rely heavily on the atmosphere because of the product and nature of the sport.

“It’s been interesting to see how it comes across on TV, which it has done brilliantly.

“But it was really odd on matchday, warming up and hearing the opposition talking through their plays and hearing sideline officials talking.

“It was really hard to create an atmosphere to replace the crowd. In fact, we never did and that’s why we’ve missed them so much.

“Your home team and home support can really lift you to a win, I believe. I’ve been in many positions like that in my career.

“If you just had that home crowd backing you home for the last 10 minutes, you tend to find an extra leg.

“It means a lot, we’ve missed them and we can’t wait to have them back.”

Even with the capacity limited to just 1,000 amid the current coronavirus restrictions, Cuthbertson believes that it will feel like a "full house" on Sunday.

"Personally, as someone that’s played professionally now for 18 years, you don’t realise how much you miss the crowd until they’re gone," he said.

“Unfortunately, it’s taken a pandemic to realise how much having those fans at the game day, to cheer you on and support you, how much that lifts you and means to us.

“It’s very exciting to have them, even if it is in drips and drabs at first. But it will seem like a full house to us, having not had them in the ground for about 18 months.”

In regards to matters on the field, York have three wins and three defeats from their first six league matches.

The Knights sit sixth in the table, occupying the final play-off spot, following last week's win at Widnes Vikings.

“I think that coming away from Widnes with a win is always a good thing, no matter how you get it and regardless of what Widnes team was out there," reflected Cuthbertson.

“Something that we’ll continue to work on going forward is how we start and how we finish games.

"We’re a few matches deep into the season now but, we’ve had a lot of changes in our personnel, especially to our spine, so we’ve had to adjust week in, week out.

“It was good to have the two halves playing together for a couple of weeks straight and I think we’re now really starting to get a little bit of momentum in the sense of how we’re going to play moving forwards.”