IT might have been planned or it might have been fate but York City Knights' kit on their long-awaited competitive bow at Bootham Crescent made more than a nod towards hosts York City.

As previously reported, the Knights' new away strip comprising predominantly red shirts and dark blue shorts effectively bears the colours of their footballing neighbours and now landlords.

And, with last week's visitors York Acorn wearing their new blue strip, the Knights, rather than wear their home colours of blue and white, opted to don this red and blue attire for their big day.

This was perhaps partly to avoid a colour clash but almost certainly more so to mark their new life at Bootham Crescent - and maybe even win over some City supporting new friends.

TALKING of living together, a big well done must go to the groundstaff at Bootham Crescent for preparing the pitch to virtual perfection last weekend despite two games in little over 24 hours.

Not only were they at work replacing the posts and painting the rugby lines straight after City's match finished on Saturday, but the playing surface was top notch.

As Knights boss James Ford said, "nobody would've guessed there was a football match the previous day".

A BIG thanks must also go to the group of City and Knights fans who voluntarily helped to clear up around the stands after Saturday's football match to help make sure everything was shipshape in plenty of time for Sunday.

HOMEGROWN pack star Ed Smith has begun 2016 pretty much where he left off last season - at the top of The Press Player of the Year leaderboard.

The competition again sees our man of the match in each Knights game awarded three player of the year points, with our second-best player getting two points and the third-best one point.

Second-row Smith was our top man (3pts) in the opening-day iPro Sport Cup win at Hunslet and was only just edged into second place (2pts) in last week's Challenge Cup win over York Acorn by full-back Richard Wilkinson (3pts), who at times tore the Blue and Golds to shreds with his piercing runs.

Bruising prop Russ Spiers was our second-best player against Hunslet (2pts), albeit only just, while half-back Danny Nicklas got the nod in the similarly tight fight for third place (1pt).

The final podium place against Acorn went to Ryan Mallinder (1pt).

There will be no Player of the Month award for February as there were only two games but it will start again this month, with three bonus player of the year points on offer for whoever tops that vote.

The Press Player of the Year leaderboard: E Smith 5, Wilkinson 3, Spiers 2, Nicklas 1, Mallinder 1.