JAMES FORD expressed his pride at being the first coach in 90 years to take York City Knights to Wembley Stadium.

York overcame Swinton Lions 36-22 to book their spot in the final of the 1895 Cup final, which will feature as the curtain raiser to next month’s Betfred Challenge Cup final.

The game will see York compete at the country’s national stadium for the first time since the 1931 Challenge Cup final.

In a hugely successful spell in charge, it is another landmark for Knights coach Ford, whose side were playing at community grounds in League One at the beginning of his reign.

“It feels amazing,” said Ford. “I feel really pleased and proud with the distance that this club has travelled.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were playing in the fields and now we’re going to Wembley, it’s an amazing achievement.

“The hard work has been done off the field by Jon Flatman, Neil Gulliver, Will Leatt, (Adam) Prentis, apologies if I’ve missed anybody.

“They’ve been immense and really helped move this club forward. I’m pleased for them and the supporters, who have been with us through thick and thin.

“Most importantly, I’m pleased for the players. We give them a little bit of a hard time here because we’ve got high standards and we expect them to be right at the top of their game pretty much every week.

“I’m pleased that they’ve been rewarded for their their commitment to get an opportunity to compete for a trophy at Wembley.

“I’ve been here for 10 years now, so to be the coach to take York to Wembley is nice and I’m proud of that.

“But we need to make sure that we keep building so that when we go there we give the best versions of ourselves and we’re aiming to win it.”

There were joyous celebrations at the LNER Community Stadium afterwards, on which Ford added: “That was special and we really enjoyed that. We went to acknowledge their efforts and how well they got behind us and to demonstrate what just what that means to the players and the coaching staff.

“I’m more looking forward to spending more moments like that with them in the future."