BIRTHDAY boy Brad Hey's marked improvement this year has been recognised with The Press Player of the Month award for August.

A quiet month was not the best all round for York. It began with the disappointing loss at Keighley - the comedown from the stunning shock win over Toronto at the end of July - and ended with defeat at bogey team Barrow.

But in between times the Knights beat Workington Town to stay on course for the Kingstone Press League One play-offs, with a place in the top five since being assured.

Hey, who turned 23 this week, was our man of the match at Barrow and just missed out on that accolade at Keighley, too, to in-form second-row Joe Batchelor, who was also a contender for the Player of the Month gong.

Head coach Ford was happy that the second-row-cum-centre got the nod.

"Just in general I'm really pleased with and impressed by Brad's development as a player," said Ford of the former Batley Bulldogs youngster, who joined York in July 2015 and earlier this year penned an extended contract that keeps him at the club until 2019.

"We've always earmarked him as having potential - he's very athletic, he has a good frame, he has skill - and this year we've seen him add more understanding to his game, improve his technique and develop an immense amount of grit.

"The standard of his performances have gone up as a result, so much so he's become a go-to player.

"We rely on him heavily to impact on games, both defensively and offensively, and he's got a huge role to play in the play-offs."

The August accolade gives Hey three bonus Press Player of the Year points, and adds to the three he earns as our man of the match at Barrow.

Another big mover in that leaderboard over the last couple of weeks (the table needs updating since the Workington game) is the aforementioned Batchelor.

He was rated our second-best player against both Barrow (2pts) and Doncaster last time out (2pts) and so jumps up to second place in the table.

He would have gone top, too, but leader Liam Harris was a clear star man against Donny (3pts) so stays at the summit.

Player of the Year points versus Barrow: Brad Hey 3, Joe Batchelor 2, Jake Butler-Fleming 1.

Player of the Year points versus Doncaster: Liam Harris 3, Joe Batchelor 2, Nev Morrison 1.

The Press Player of the Year standings: Harris 19, Batchelor 18, Robson 15, Spears 15, E Smith 11, Hey 11, Foggin-Johnston 10, A Robinson 9, Porter 7, Siddons 6, Jubb 6, C Robinson 5, Haynes 5, Carter 5, Rawsthorne 4, H Tyson-Wilson 3, Moran 3, Ellis 3, Saxton 2, Presley 1, B Tyson-Wilson 1, Osbourne 1, Morrison 1, Butler-Fleming 1.