OUTGOING York Knights captain Chris Clarkson believes that the future for the club is a bright one, both on and off the pitch.

Sunday’s Betfred Championship Play-off Eliminator against Bradford Bulls marked the 33-year-old’s final match before his retirement after a successful 14-year career in the sport.

Despite the Bulls claiming a dominant 22-8 victory, he was pleased to even make the play-offs, a prospect that had seemed unlikely for the majority of the season.

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Clarkson, who switched his usual position in the second row to play in the centres for most of the 2023 season, has played alongside some of the sport’s greats in Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow, Danny McGuire and Jamie Jones Buchanan.

But having made a combined 330 career appearances for Hunslet, Leeds Rhinos, Widnes Vikings, Hull KR, Castleford Tigers and the Knights, Clarkson has now taken a step back to focus on both his family and career as a builder.

Head coach Andrew Henderson and chairman Clint Goodchild have both been vocal in their desires to develop young talent at the Knights, with Clarkson believing that the club can only progress over the coming years.

“[The young talent at the Knights], it’s great,” he enthused to The Press.

“The team and the squad that we’ve got now is really good. Sprinkle a few more people in there for next year - I say it to the team often, but if they get it right, they can be unbeatable.

“It’s a great squad with a great, great coach and great infrastructure, so it’s there if they want it.”

Versatile back Myles Harrison, Championship Young Player of the Year nominee AJ Towse and forward Oli Field are just a few of the young talents that the Knights have at their disposal, having been at the forefront of the action amid the club’s unprecedented injury crisis.

“The lads just have to work hard," Clarkson explained.

“The young lads that have been here for years now started at 16, like Myles, they’re now coming to be young men and they’re going to be a massive part of York for the future.

“It’s in really good hands.”