JAMES FORD admits he doesn't know much about what is happening behind the scenes at his beloved York City Knights - but it's fair to say he holds genuine fears the club might not be here next season.

In an interview with The Press this week, Ford called on the supporters to show how much his team meant to them by getting down in numbers to tomorrow's League One Super 8s derby with Hunslet - saying the "worst-case scenario" is these "could be the last few games York will play".

The uncertainty stems not only from takeover talks - they obviously offer hope there is a future but it is unclear how they are progressing - but also from City of York Council's community stadium saga and the groundshare issues with York City, with neither the council nor the football club currently guaranteeing that the Knights will get to play at Bootham Crescent after the end of this season.

No other ground in York meets Rugby Football League criteria since the Knights' old Huntington Stadium was bulldozed to make way for the planned new arena.

That uncertainty, meanwhile, has unsurprisingly also led to growing speculation about Ford’s own future - whether he’ll stick it out here beyond this season even if the club continues or whether he'll move elsewhere.

On that note, it is almost certain he won't be short of suitors given what he has so far achieved here in such trying circumstances over two years, and, as reported, Wakefield, Featherstone Sheffield and Keighley are all linked.

But it seems clear his first-choice option would be to stay (as it probably would be for the majority of players given the atmosphere inside their camp despite the carry-on outside of it)... but only of course if there was something tangible to stay for.

"There is uncertainty around the club," Ford had said this week when calling on fans to get behind his troops. "The only things I'm aware of are what I've read in the paper... We don't know what's going to happen next year in terms of professional rugby league in the city.

"The worse-case scenario could be these are the last few games York will play."

When then asked if he felt that "worst-case scenario" was a genuine possibility, Ford simply said: "I hope not."

He added: "I love York and the supporters and it's obvious what the players think about each other. The potential for York is enormous but for one reason or another the club down the years hasn't really fulfilled that.

"We can move the club forward but we need the right level of support. Hopefully we can get that and we as a coaching and playing group can help the club fulfil its potential.

"My job is to focus on the rugby and the players are focussing on their jobs too.

"We'll have our hands full enough against a fired-up Hunslet team (without having to think about the uncertainty). It's a derby. We've beaten them twice this year and they will be desperate to turn us over.

"We'll need the supporters - hopefully eight, nine hundred, a thousand of them - to get down there and get behind us. We all know this club got over 2,000 not too long ago.

"It could be a special occasion, if what people are alluding to in terms of the club not continuing.

"I don't know one way or another what to make of all the information I'm picking up on. I just feel it's a sad situation that we've been hampered like we are and I genuinely feel for my players."

Sad is only one word for it.

AMID the uncertainty and the praise for the players' character in ongoing adversity, James Ford reckons he has found another man he can rely on - completing a full about-turn in opinion.

As reported by The Press, Ford had initially said he would not pick Brandon Westerman again after he failed to show for the trip to Toulouse at the end of last month, only to change his mind after a "misunderstanding" was cleared up - the Castleford loanee had thought Ford was aware he could not travel because of a family illness albeit without making sure by telling him himself.

Having given the teenager another chance in last week's win over Rochdale, picking the back-rower at centre, Ford was left impressed by the new recruit's attitude - not least in his defensive efforts.

“He looks like someone I can rely on, especially defensively. I wouldn’t want to take him and Ed Smith on, would you?" smiled Ford.

“Brandon hadn’t played centre before but he has the ingredients of a good player. He ran hard and tackled hard and he’s got decent skill. He was probably a little bit overenthusiastic when giving away a couple of penalties, but that was because he wanted to work hard for the team.

“I’m sure he will mature a real good and competitive player.

“The more he plays at centre the more familiar he will get to it.

“If we coach him right and he’s willing to learn, he’ll come on. The raw ingredients are run hard and tackle hard and be competitive. If you give me that I will do my very best to give the other side.”

Westerman's loan was initially for a month, which soon runs out, but Ford is keen to extend it till the end of the season.

EX-KNIGHT Danny Brough, who kicked and ran his way to all-time York RL goal and point-scoring records in his time at Huntington Stadium over a decade ago, is on the verge of crossing another big mark for Huddersfield Giants.

The 33-year-old half-back needs just 15 points to reach 1,500 for the Super League club, his total of 1,485 having been reached with 44 tries, 645 goals and 19 field goals in 192 games since joining them in 2010.