YORK City Knights are confident they have unearthed another gem out of the amateur game after signing Yorkshire amateur ace Lewis Price from Castleford club Lock Lane.

Price's arrival coincides with his former Lock Lane team-mate, Chris Siddons, agreeing a two-year extension at Bootham Crescent after an impressive first season in the professional arena.

And, while head coach James Ford expect Siddons to kick on in 2018 after already proving his worth at League One level, he believes Price could provide excitement aplenty in the back line should he take to the pro game in similar fashion.

"He's got balance, pace and a good understanding of attack in terms of off-the-ball efforts," said Ford of the 21-year-old new boy.

"I'm confident that if he works hard at his game, he can probably surprise himself as much as anyone else at how good he can be.

"Obviously there are areas he will need to work on, but if his appetite for work is the same in training as I've seen on game days, we've got a very exciting player on our hands."

Price, like Siddons, was part of the Lock Lane team that shocked Oxford on their way to the Challenge Cup fifth round last year, albeit while suffering relegation from the National Conference League premier division.

His club reached the division one play-off semi-finals this year as they sought a quick return to the elite tier, but they lost to Normanton - with Price and former Knights half-back Danny Sowerby both sin-binned.

Price played largely at full-back this year and centre last year, but could well be pinpointed for a wing berth next year.

Said Ford: "He could play across the back line.

"His work ethic is good, he's athletic, he's got good footwork and he's strong.

"He works hard for his team when they're under the pump, getting them rolling with some tough runs, and he reads the game well, creating space off the ball.

"He stands out a mile whenever I've watched him play."

Front-rower Siddons, 25, an unknown quantity to many on his arrival at York last winter, went on to play in 22 of the Knights' 27 matches this year, notching three tries.

Club chiefs now expect the former England Lions tourist to go up another level, especially with a full pre-season behind him.

"He's done really well," said Ford, who also successfully plucked local favourite Joe Porter out of the amateur ranks last winter.

"Chris featured in most of the games in which he was available and in some of those games he spent an enormous amount of time on the field due to others not reaching the levels we want or picking up injuries. That shows we've got a lot of trust in him.

"He impressed everyone, playing big minutes when required and utilising a good passing game for a middle.

"He's a really popular player in the group as well - very down to earth and with a 'will do' attitude. He's willing to work hard for the group and they respect that."

He added: “Although Chris attracted interest from around League One he has always been keen to extend his stay at the Knights and continue his development.

"We'll now be expecting him to improve.

"He missed the majority of last pre-season being on tour in Fiji (with England Lions) so this will be his first year with a proper pre-season in an environment where he's being asked to improve physically.

"If he does improve in one or two areas he will be an even better player and I'm looking forward to seeing that on game day."

Asked if Siddons had surprised people at Bootham Crescent, Ford said: "I'd seen him play a number of times - we'd been keeping tabs on him - so I was not surprised.

"The supporters maybe wouldn't have known much about him so maybe he did surprise a couple. The pleasing thing is there's another level in there, and it's up to us to work hard and get it out of him."