RONAN DIXON is now the longest-serving player in the York City Knights squad after signing a new deal with the club for the 2022 season.

The prop forward joined York from Wakefield Trinity ahead of the 2017 season and will now enter his sixth season with James Ford’s side.

The 24-year-old has been a regular part of the Knights’ pack since his arrival, having played a key part in the 2018 Betfred League One title win, the 2019 Betfred Championship play-off finish and last season’s AB Sundecks 1895 Cup final appearance at Wembley Stadium.

Dixon will be hoping to add to the 73 York appearances currently to his name next year.

York head coach James Ford said: “I’m pleased to be able to continue to work with Ronan and I’m confident he’ll continue to develop as his attitude towards hard work and feedback is excellent.

“He’s still young for a prop and his best years are certainly in front of him.”

Dixon added: “I’m very happy to be staying at the club.

“Obviously, last year didn’t go to plan for us but I know this year that we’re going to rectify what went wrong and I’m really pleased to be part of a team that wants to compete at the top of the Championship and, hopefully, that top spot.”

Several high-profile and experienced names retired at the end of last season, including Tim Spears, Ryan Atkins and Danny Washbrook.

The challenge for Dixon and his fellow retained team-mates is step up in the absence of those veterans and become leaders within the group.

“Jubby (Will Jubb) and I have both been here for a similar amount of time.

“We have some big shoes to fill in terms of Tim, Danny and Ryan, but I’m confident that the lads we’ve got can step up.

“We have spent a few years here now and, with the signing of Liam Harris as well who knows what the club culture is like, the way Fordy wants to play and exactly what is expected of us, I think we’re in a good place.”

The re-signing of Dixon sees York continue to strength their middle unit ahead of the new campaign, with Will Jubb, Marcus Stock and Jack Teanby also all agreeing contract extensions.

“I’ve always liked playing with Teanby and Stocky,” said Dixon. “He (Stock) is very good with his footwork and getting us on the front foot.

“Teanby is straight up and down, he’s a very good player, very consistent, he doesn’t put a foot wrong and leads from the front.”

Dixon is currently recovering from a post-season knee operation but will be back in pre-season training with the rest of the team next month.

Discussing his injury, the front-rower said: “Against Whitehaven I got a bang on my knee.

“I came off, put some ice on it and went back on and it was a bit sore but you get a thousand bangs in the game.

“I went home and it swelled up like a balloon so I went to the hospital the next day and they said that it was a PCL and that I needed to go for an MRI scan.

“When we got that back, it was a full rupture of my PCL and the cartilage, I needed some of that shaving down.

“I was going to play a few games at the back end of last year but, in the position we were in, Fordy and I had a chat and he said to just get myself right for next year and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

He added: “I’m on the road to recovery and doing everything right away from the pitch as well.”