IT won't be quite up there with other gongs, like a Challenge Cup winner's medal for example, but Tommy Saxton has a new award to add to his list - as The Press Player of the Month for August.

While the 32-year-old ex-Super League star - who won the Cup with Hull the last time they lifted it before last weekend, back in 2005 - may lack the pace of old, one notable skill he brings to the team is an ability to drag men in and offload, making opposing defences work much harder than they'd like.

Head coach James Ford also revealed his worth in training, too, adding that the former Castleford, Hull, Wakefield, Salford and Featherstone star was not only enjoying his own rugby but helping younger team-mates too.

"His work-rate in matches is high and he gives us a bit of ad lib in his performance," said Ford, when backing the vote for Saxton to get the latest monthly gong.

"It's been really pleasing for me to see Tommy find the form I knew he had in him.

"He's a talented, natural rugby league player and he gives us a different avenue of attack with his footwork and offload game.

"Off the field in training he contributes a lot mentally as well. He has little chats with the likes of Tyler Craig and people like that, just giving little bits of advice.

"That's what a senior player should do - offer a bit of feedback and help the talented younger players to improve and progress."

Ford joked, however, that Saxton can no longer himself train as he used to do early in the week.

"He trains a bit different to Mark Applegarth, for example, though both contribute in different ways," said Ford, explaining with a grin: "On a Tuesday Tommy is generally still feeling the effects of Sunday, by Thursday he's almost looking human again, and by Sunday he's ready to go."

TALKING of Mark Applegarth, the veteran prop will reach another notable milestone should he don the Knights jersey tomorrow.

Having passed a century of appearances for the Knights earlier this season, the 31-year-old is set to make it 200 domestic matches for his career as a whole, not counting his time in Australia.

Applegarth has now played 113 games in two spells with York (2008-2010 and 2015-2016), and was previously with Batley (59 games, 2012-2014) and Wakefield (27 games, 2004-2007), aside his spell down under.

He has missed the Knights' last two games but is fit to return this weekend.

TOMMY SAXTON's Player of the Month award sees him make further headway in The Press Player of the year standings.

The May arrival rose up the leaderboard in the last update and the three bonus points for being our man for August lifts him higher still.

We also need to update the rankings to take in the last two games - the victory at Rochdale and the home reverse to Hunslet.

At Spotland, Russ Spiers was our top man (for his performance, not just that wonderful photo of him celebrating his try) so gets three points, followed by Saxton (2pts) and James Haynes (1pt) - the club captain admirably getting himself quickly on the leaderboard after his return from his knee reconstruction.

Against the Hawks, Danny Nicklas was our man of the match (3pts), followed by Kriss Brining (2pts) and the ever hard-running Josh Tonks (1pt), who moves within touching distance of leader Jack Aldous.

The Press Player of the Year leaderboard: Aldous 18pts, Tonks 15, Applegarth 14, E Smith 13, Carter 12, Saxton 12, Brining 10, Nicklas 9, Wilkinson 9, Emmett 8, Spiers 8, Presley 6, Morland 6, Turner 4, B Dent 3, Crowther 3, Craig 3, Robinson 3, Tyson-Wilson 3, Smeaton 3, Buchanan 2, Mallinder 1, Divorty 1, A Dent 1, Haynes 1.

THE Knights players were given a fillip last week thanks to the hospitality of supporter James Slater.

Head coach James Ford was already giving the squad some time off from the rigours of training, given their blank weekend due to the rugby league Wembley weekend for the Challenge Cup final.

And Mr Slater kindly invited them all to the Puss 'N' Boots pub in Holgate for a big barbecue, by way of showing his appreciation for the players' ongoing efforts in the face of the off-field concerns.

Explained Ford: "He's aware of the situation the boys are in and he contacted me and asked if we would fancy going for a barbecue so the players could have a bit of downtime together.

"It allowed the boys to unload mentally, and they really enjoyed it. His cooking was outstanding as well."

The social fitted in well with Ford's decision to give the players some time off.

He explained: "I felt against Hunslet that while there was a great deal of effort there was possibly at times fatigue creeping in which led to penalties.

"There were some untidy performances and sloppy decision-making and we did some uncharacteristic things, and I put some of that down to fatigue and frustration from one or two things that might be on people's minds.

"I felt it was appropriate to give people time off."

He added of this week's return to training: "The energy levels were superb again, where I would expect them to be."