JAMES FORD believes that the York City Knights fans will be "absolutely blown away" by the LNER Community Stadium as the ground prepares to open its doors for the first time to supporters.

York City and York City Knights have been forced to play matches behind closed doors since the new stadium opened in February.

But the Knights will welcome in a maximum of 1,000 fans when they host Oldham on Sunday (3pm) in the Betfred Championship.

After over a year without supporters, York head coach Ford is highly anticipating their return.

“I’m really looking forward to it personally and I know we are collectively as a team and as a club," said Ford.

“I think that the supporters will be absolutely blown away by the stadium, if it is their first time there, because it is a magnificent facility.

“We’re really looking forward to playing in front of them and we’re looking forward to including them as part of our performance again.

“As I’ve said a few times, there’s a lot of new players in this team who haven’t experienced just how well the York fans get behind the team.

“I’m really looking forward to them experiencing that for the first time. The post warm up when the boys are coming off the field, once that stand gets up, it’s something special and I’m really looking forward to the players experiencing that.”

While the occasion is hugely important, York still have a game to win on the field. They face Oldham, who have already caused an upset in a 16-12 win against play-off chasing Halifax Panthers earlier this month.

Ford added: “It’s important for us that we’re really tidy. We want to play to our standards right from minute one and put Oldham under pressure and not let the pressure off them.

“We need to learn our lessons from the last few weeks, tidy up in two or three areas and once we’ve got a team under pressure, keep the pressure on them.”

York City Knights squad: Marsh, Bass, Salter, Atkins, K Dixon, R Dixon, Jubb, Clarkson, Scott, Cuthbertson, Brining, Baldwinson, Stock, Kirmond, Green, Jones-Bishop, Washbrook, Dean, Dow-Nikau, Lewis, McDonnell.