HEAD coach James Ford was quick to hail Joe Batchelor and Brad Hey after the pair both lifted a trophy double at York City Knights' end-of-season presentation ceremony.

The event, held at York Racecourse, saw Batchelor named both the Player of the Year and The Press Player of the Year following his debut season at the club, while Hey was voted the Players' Player of the Year and picked up the Shooting Star award too.

The Clubman of the Year gong, meanwhile, went to George Leatt for his volunteer work with the team on match-days and at training, while there was a special presentation made to the Knights Ladies' team following their rise into the Women's Super League at the end of their first season under the club's umbrella.

Batchelor arrived from League One minnows Coventry Bears 12 months ago as a relative unknown but quickly nailed down a first-team berth in the second-row.

He was the Press Player of the Month for June, while his man-of-the-match accolade in the epic play-off semi-final defeat at Whitehaven saw him pip dual-reg star Liam Harris to The Press' end-of-season gong.

The club's Player of the Year award, meanwhile, was decided by the coaching staff.

Said Ford: "It was a tough decision. There were a number of outstanding candidates.

"Joe played a really big part in the team's performances and development.

"We were really impressed not only with the strike and potency he gives us on the edges with his lines and athletic ability, but also with his defensive performances and his leadership.

"He came into his own as the season progressed and it was really pleasing to see him taking games by the scruff of the neck, taking people through tough situations and providing another point of leadership for some of the younger players.

"For a player in his first year at this level, I thought that was really admirable and I'm looking forward to working with him again next season."

He added: "He's also a really positive example for aspiring young players in the area.

"When he came to us not many people would have known much about him but he immediately set standards in pre-season, he worked very hard and was incredibly disciplined in his preparation, making sacrifices in his lifestyle.

"That attitude has helped him improve out of sight through the year, and made him a really important factor in us making the Super 8s and then the play-offs."

Hey, meanwhile, got the vote of his peers - arguably the most important accolade - to add to his Shooting Star gong as most improved player.

"There were four or five in the running," said Ford of the Players' Player poll.

"I'm delighted for Brad that he's got it. He's a really down-to-earth, humble fella, and the players obviously appreciate the qualities he brings to the team.

"He works hard for the group in defence and he can turn a game in attack with his athletic ability. It's been pleasing for me to see him improve his skill as well. He created a number of tries for us out of nothing.

"If he continues to work hard I'm sure we will see an even better Brad Hey next year.

"I hope he's proud that the playing group voted for him.

"If I could choose an award to win, it would be this one."

Clubman Leatt is the younger brother of team manager Will Leatt.

Ford joked: "George has a dry sense of humour - although he's maybe spent a bit too much time around Tommy Saxton and his outspoken views.

"The players really appreciate George's contribution to the environment. I think it was Tim Spears who said he was the club's best signing, with all the little things he does to help the group, from preparing food to assisting Will in the things he does, all on a voluntary basis too.

"He does it all with a smile - he's a pleasure to have around the club."