YORK City Knights have been hit by a bombshell – player-boss Chris Thorman is to leave the club to take up a post at Huddersfield.

The move will not take place until the end of this current season, however, and he is to stay at the Huntington Stadium helm until then.

The 31-year-old would not comment on the switch but it is understood he has been handed an assistant-coach’s job at the Super League club – where he played for six seasons – to start this autumn under their incoming boss Paul Anderson.

The Geordie’s deal at York had another 16 months to run but he will depart with their blessing, and The Press believes the club are unlikely to demand compensation, although a pre-season friendly, with York keeping the receipts, has been mooted.

The move has been confirmed by the Knights.

General manager Ian Wilson said: “It’s disappointing to lose a coach and player of Chris’s quality. He’s done a good job since he came here in 2010. But it’s a great opportunity for him to further his career, which is what he came to York to do.

“We will wish him all the best and hope he is successful at Huddersfield.”

Wilson said the timing of the news offered York the chance to plan ahead in plenty of time for next term and bring in “the right candidate” as a replacement.

He added: “I’m sure Chris will be giving everything he’s got to make his last eight games here as successful as possible.”

Thorman, who began his career with Sheffield, played for Huddersfield in 2001 and 2002 following their merger with the Eagles and, after spells with London Broncos and in Australia with Parramatta Eels, he returned to the Giants and played 145 more times for the club, at stand-off or full-back, between 2005 and 2008, captaining them in the 2006 Challenge Cup final and winning two England caps, both as skipper.

After one season at Hull, Thorman dropped down from Super League to join York ahead of the 2010 campaign as player/assistant-coach under James Ratcliffe, though he was effectively put straight in charge, along with fellow assistant Mick Ramsden, for eight games at the start of the season – winning six – while Ratcliffe sat out a two-month suspension.

Ratcliffe was replaced by Aussie Dave Woods midway through that campaign, at the end of which the Knights, with Thorman as organiser-in-chief on the field, won promotion through the play-offs to the Championship.

They just avoided relegation in 2011, after which Woods’ contract was not renewed, with Thorman named player-boss.

He won his first three games at the helm in the Northern Rail Cup this term but defeat to Sheffield in the fourth and last group game of that competition meant they did not qualify for the knockout stages and it preceded a run of nine consecutive Championship defeats, which ended only with victory against Swinton 11 days ago.

That losing sequence was punctured by a Challenge Cup third-round win over amateurs Hull Dockers, but they were beaten in the fourth round, again by Sheffield.

In total, Thorman’s record in charge so far reads five wins and 11 losses. Including the eight games in caretaker charge at the start of 2010, it reads 11 wins and 13 losses.

In his time as player/assistant-coach, including those eight games, the Knights won 25, drew two and lost 29.

Anderson, 40, the former Bradford, St Helens and Great Britain prop, is currently second in command at Huddersfield but the Giants’ current boss, Nathan Brown, is taking over at St Helens at the end of this season.

Anderson was named his successor back in December, and the Galpharm Stadium club are now putting together his backroom staff.

Thorman will be an assistant alongside one other – reportedly Kieron Purtill, who was assistant to then Huddersfield coach Jon Sharp during Thorman’s playing days there and later coached at St Helens under Royce Simmons.

The move means Thorman will be hanging up his boots as a player.

The Geordie will become the third Knights boss to move up to a coaching role in Super League, following Paul Broadbent, who resigned as York player-boss after their inaugural 2003 season and later joined Wakefield’s boot-room, and present Wakefield boss Richard Agar, who joined Hull’s staff after his season in charge at York in 2004.

Former Knights conditioning coach Colin Sanctuary also rose to Super League before landing the plum job as Newcastle Knights’ head of conditioning in Australia.