DEPARTED York City Knights assistant coach Brett Delaney has hailed James Ford as one of the best coaches that he has ever worked with.

Delaney exited York for Betfred Super League side Hull KR last week after eight months in the club’s backroom staff.

Last year’s move to the Knights was Delaney’s maiden first-team coaching role after a storied playing career which encompassed spells at Parramatta Eels, Gold Coast Titans and Leeds Rhinos.

With the latter, the Australian won eight major honours under Brian McDermott while in Australia, the back-rower worked under twice NRL finalist John Cartwright and coaching veteran Brian Smith.

Delaney insists that Ford ranks among those names who have all coached at the highest level.

“Fordy has taught me a hell of a lot in the last eight months,” enthused the 36-year-old. “How to speak to players, how to get the best out of them and all sorts of different areas too.

“He’s a really intelligent coach, really tactical and a great man-manager. There’s lots that he’s taught me that I’ll take over to Hull KR.

“He’s one great coach. I’ve been around some great coaches in my time and Fordy is right up there with them.

“He’s really diligent in his work and his preparations on the opposition and his players. He gets the best out of each player that we got to work with on our budget.”

Ford took charge of York ahead of the 2015 season following the end of his playing career and has gone on to establish himself as one of the domestic game’s most highly-rated young coaches.

The former Castleford Tigers back led the Knights to the 2018 Betfred League One title before quickly establishing York as one of the Betfred Championship’s top promotion contenders.

Delaney said: “York is definitely a club on the rise and that’s one of the reasons that I joined, with the new stadium, the new owner Clint (Goodchild) is really keen to get into Super League.

“It’d be great to see Fordy take York into Super League and I truly believe that he deserves to be the coach that takes York into Super League.

“When that is, I can’t tell you because I’m not a mind-reader, but I know it won’t be soon and it’s not too far away.

“When it does happen, it’d be a great moment for the city and for Fordy’s hard work throughout the past eight years, to go from League One to the Super League.

“I believe he’s a Super League coach. He’s got all the qualities to be one and I’ve been around some great coaches in my time, so I think I’ve got a good judgement on that.”