JAMES FORD has likened York City Knights loanee Levi Edwards to Betfred Super League star and former Knight Greg Minikin.

Edwards marked his return from injury, having been absent since April, with an impressive display as York won 40-16 at Whitehaven.

The 18-year-old has already made a keen impact with the Knights during his five matches on loan from Leeds Rhinos and is now drawing significant praise from his coach.

Ford compared the centre to Minikin, an established Super League outside back with Castleford Tigers, Hull KR and Warrington Wolves who began his career with York, where he played from 2013 to 2015.

“He reminds me a lot of Greg Minikin when we had Greg here,” head coach Ford said of Edwards.

“I think that Levi is a little bit more aggressive than Greg in some of his actions on the field.

“Greg was an unbelievable player here when we had him and Levi is certainly going that way too.”

Despite his youthful age, Edwards is already in his second season out on loan at a Betfred Championship club, having featured five times in Batley Bulldogs’ end-of-season run-in to the play-offs last year.

“I think that people forget how young Levi is,” said Ford. "He could have played for the Yorkshire academy at the weekend, but I don’t think there would have been much point to be honest, he’d just be too hard to handle.

“He’s strong, he’s a real threat and he gives us strike on the edge. He’s competitive and he’s tough.

“We love him here and I just really like coaching the kid.”

Ford laughed: “He’s got a bit of an edge to him, but that just draws me to him.

“When I was a teacher, I used to like the kids that had a bit about them and he has got that edge.

“I’m really enjoying working with him and I’m really glad he’s back.”

Expanding on Edwards’ “edge”, the Knights boss explained: “He’s got a good level of tenacity and aggression about him.

“He’s not going to stand for being messed around and he’s got a good personality.

“I think you can see that little bit of an edge about him which I think is a good thing.”

While possessing such a prodigious talent with “an edge” is an exciting prospect for any club, Ford was keen to point out that, at the same time, “that’s got to be managed.”

“That will be tested this week (against Barrow Raiders) when he’s up against Hakim Miloudi where he needs to keep his composure," he insisted.

“That’s the next part of his development.

“There isn’t a player like Hakim like in Super League or at Leeds so he won’t have come across that before.

“We’ll prepare for that and make sure that he stays focused on his performance and I’m sure we’ll see another really strong performance from Levi.”

On Barrow, York’s opponents at the LNER Community Stadium on Sunday (3pm), Ford said: “They’re a good team and they’ve had some impressive results.

“They’ve got some good players so we’ll need to look at what we did well at Whitehaven and celebrate that and have a really good week of preparation coming into Barrow aiming at reproducing that or producing something even better.”