BRETT DELANEY has stated that his spell at York City Knights was “probably the best thing that I could have done for my coaching career.”

Delaney’s time as assistant coach came to an end after Monday night’s 36-10 defeat at Halifax Panthers, with the Australian moving to Betfred Super League side Hull KR after eight months with York.

During that time, the Knights have improved significantly from last season’s disappointing ninth-placed finish and currently find themselves fifth in the Betfred Championship, level on points with Halifax Panthers and Batley Bulldogs, who are third and fourth respectively, and eight points clear inside the play-off spots.

York was Delaney’s first club in first-team coaching, having previously worked with the scholarship and academy sides at former club Leeds Rhinos, and he says he could not have wished for a better starting job.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” said the 36-year-old. “It was the first time that I’ve worked with a part-time squad, having been around full-time squads for around 20 years.

“It was probably the best thing that I could have done for my coaching career.”

Delaney went on to reveal: “I tried to get to York last year but they already had their coaching staff sorted.

“Jon Flatman (then chairman) then got me a meeting with Fordy (head coach James Ford) in October. That was the first time that we met but we just clicked.

“We’ve got on really well as coaching staff and have bounced off each other really well since then.

“Obviously it’s not ideal for Fordy, leaving him a little bit short and having to find a replacement pretty quickly.

“So I can’t thank him enough for giving me the opportunity at York and understanding the reasons for leaving early to go to Hull KR.”

Delaney’s move to KR was lined up two months ago, but was not set to take place until the end of the season.

However when Robins chief Tony Smith was sacked last week, his number two Danny McGuire stepped up to the hot seat and needed a right-hand-man to help save a failing season amid a current run of eight defeats from nine matches.

“This opportunity came up a couple of months ago and it was just too hard to turn down,” explained Delaney.

“Willie Peters, the incoming coach at Hull KR next year, rang me up and we had a few conversations about what he thought I could bring to the club and what I thought I could bring and how I could help support him as his assistant.

“It went from there and he offered me the job.

“Both clubs kept it in-house and Tony was still in charge and I wanted to finish my job off at York.

“But with Tony getting let go, it was pretty much fast-tracked from there. My good mate Danny McGuire has stepped in as head coach until the end of the season.

“He rang Fordy and asked if they could fast-track the move. It was a whirlwind couple of days getting it sorted.

“That’s rugby league though. One minute I was doing some video stuff for York, the next I’m getting a call from Maggsy (Maguire) saying he’d spoken to Fordy and said ‘Come to Hull KR’.

“Fordy and Clint (Goodchild, chairman) understand that it’s Super League and they gave me their blessing to leave.