YORK City Knights turned down the chance to sign Betfred Super League winner Jack Walker on loan, head coach James Ford has revealed.

Walker joined Hull FC from Leeds Rhinos on loan until the end of the season last week and made a successful debut for the Black and Whites, debuting in their 34-28 derby win over neighbours Hull KR at Magic Weekend.

While the full-back eventually remained in Super League and at a club higher positioned than parent club, Walker was considered as a potential new recruit by Betfred Championship promotion chasers York.

“It was mentioned but it just didn’t really fit with the strategy that we’ve got in terms of developing the club and building a team over the next couple of years,” Ford said of the potential move.

“I think that Jack Walker is a tremendous player and we saw how well he played for Hull FC in the game against Hull KR.

“To bring him in on a two-week loan period and send him back, that doesn’t help Myles Harrison or Brendan O’Hagan or Liam Harris or Jamie Ellis in terms of their development.

“In hindsight, losing Marshy (Matty Marsh) afterwards, I’d have been more inclined to.

“But sticking to the principles that we’ve got of trying to grow and develop a team and a club over the next 12 and 18 months, I think that would have been very 2021 and not very 2022.”

York’s 2021 season was plagued by injuries, with Ford often forced into utilising the loan market to reinforce his squad.

The current campaign has not seen the same amount of players sidelined, with only two loanees named in the most recent 17 – Levi Edwards and Ronan Michael.

When asked about the current recruitment process, Ford said: “We’re aiming at continuous improvement. We’re aiming at improving the club off the field and on the field.

“I think we’ve seen the benefit of giving opportunities to younger players in AJ Towse this year. He’s played seven games this season and I think he’s improved every time he has played.

“Myles Harrison has had six appearances and he’s never let us down. The more opportunities and experience they get, the more chance they’ve got of cracking our starting 17 every week and being a really good player.

“It’s not just about those two, there’s Brad Ward and Toby Warren, and we are looking for young, up-and-coming players that can come into our system.”