YORK City Knights boss James Ford is hopeful that missing out on the Kingstone Press League One Young Player of the Year award will give Liam Harris and Ash Robson more motivation to finish off the season in style.

As reported by The Press, the pair had been shortlisted at the plush Kingstone Press awards night in Manchester along with Newcastle half-back Lewis Young, but they saw the latter take the trophy back to Tyneside.

Ford himself also lost out on the Coach of the Year prize to Whitehaven player-boss Carl Forster - less than a week before the two go head to head in Sunday's League One play-off showdown in Cumbria.

But the Knights - who are hoping for a big following this weekend and are looking to put on buses for supporters - at least took one gong home, after receiving the Project of the Year accolade, which recognised their efforts to promote the memorable Super 8s clash with Toronto.

"I'm really pleased the club got acknowledged for their off-field efforts. I thought that was fantastic," said Ford.

"I was really disappointed for Liam and Ash, though. Both have been a pleasure to work with this year and they've produced some breathtaking moments.

"Lewis is a great young player at Newcastle and deserves the award but equally Ashley and Liam could have won it and should be acknowledged for their performances.

"Hopefully it will give them a little bit motivation to finish off the season really well."

Robson will return for the semi-final after a six-game ban, although Harris is a doubt after being knocked out in the last Super 8s encounter with Newcastle on Sunday.

The Press understands Forster, the youngest coach in pro rugby league at 25, pipped Ford to the coach's award by just two votes, although York's boss believes Paul Crarey, of Barrow, could easily have won it too.

"Congratulations to Carl," he said. "To be a player and a coach takes some doing. He thoroughly deserves his award. Paul Crarey as well equally could have been acknowledged for this season. To win the League One Cup and be top of the league apart from Toronto - I feel a little bit for Paul.

"But quite rightly Carl's been acknowledged for his young age and doing two roles, and well done to him and to Paul."

Knights chairman Jon Flatman said the club had done a "decent job" to get four nominations overall and should celebrate that achievement.

"They (Liam and Ash) have missed out but they've got second and third in the competition and that's a hell of an accolade," he said.

"We know they are two great players who have done great jobs for us this year."

Flatman reckoned all three shortlisted coaches deserved the award in their own right, based on different criteria.

He added: "We're celebrating. We've picked up one award and come pretty close in two others so, looking at distance travelled (since the takeover at the turn of the year), we've done a decent job."

On the Project of the Year award - given specifically for the social media campaign to promote the Toronto match and ultimately help to attract an attendance of over 2,600 - he said: "I think it was for far more than the social media campaign.

"I think fundamentally it was for the whole experience around the Toronto match - the two-week build-up, the social media campaign, the fan interaction, the day itself, the number of people who turned up, plus the fact the first team went out and got a fantastic win, and on top of that the legacy from it."

Asked if York could build on such marketing efforts - and if other clubs could learn from it - Flatman said: "There has already been masses of interest around what happened with the Toronto game, the financials of it, the awareness, the media, the social media, the marketing.

"We've already had lots of discussion around that already, and Toronto themselves are pretty proud to have been part of that game."

The supporters' buses on Sunday are being put on by York Pullman. Details are to be confirmed.