BOSS James Ford was rewarding his York City Knights team for their recent efforts with the weekend off given they have no fixture tomorrow - but they were still getting together.

Club chiefs were forking out for the squad to have a meal out in York last night, with Ford grateful for the out-of-hours team bonding it affords.

"Spending time together away from rugby is important," he said of the camaraderie it brings.

"The club and the owner are trying hard to give me what I'm asking for and in this instance they were taking the players to dinner.

"Little things like that make a lot of difference for a coach - getting together away from training and matches and building a different type of cohesion with each other.

"It's all improving the culture around the place. The players give a lot to the club and it's pleasing to see it being recognised in ways like this."

THESE four lads got a nice surprise at the end of the Knights' win over London Skolars last week.

They had asked if they could meet the players before the game but had their request turned down by James Ford given the team were in warm-up preparation mode.

However, the head coach added they should try to find him immediately after the match.

The boys did that, at which point Ford invited them to have a look inside the tunnel area at Bootham Crescent, join in the Knights players' victory song - a ritual after a victory - and get autographs from and have a chat with their heroes.

Nice touch, Fordy.

KRISS BRINING might have been in the headlines recently after turning down a big-money move to Featherstone Rovers on the eve of the season - but he was probably overshadowed by fellow young hooker Harry Carter on the pitch in the League One opener last week.

Brining, 22, the Knights' top scorer last season, duly got the scoreboard ticking against London Skolars with a trademark try from dummy-half, but it was Carter, also 22, who was The Press' man of the match after coming off the bench.

Not only did he dump bigger men on their backsides - something Brining has built himself a reputation for - but he also ran the game well before Brining came back on in his stead.

His tackle on big Skolars sub Jon Magrin - who had targeted the diminutive acting-half in the first hit-up of the second half, only to stopped in his tracks and sent backwards - was something to behold.

Carter duly gets three Press Player of the Year points for winning that award, while James Morland, who bagged two tries, including a fine solo effort, was ranked our second-best performer on the day so gets two points.

The third Player of the Year point this week goes to Brett Turner, who is making a very good fist of things after being switched to the wing, having scored in each of York's three games this term.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the Player of the Year award is asked to phone Peter Martini on 01904 567257 or email

The Press Player of the Year leaderboard: E Smith 5, Wilkinson 3, Carter 3, Spiers 2, Morland 2, Nicklas 1, Mallinder 1, Turner.


As reported by The Press, the 23-year-old made it 100 not out for the Knights last week as he racked up his century of first-grade appearances.

Smith, then 17, made his Knights debut as a substitute in a 60-12 Championship One victory at Gateshead in June, 2010, in doing so becoming the club's then youngest-ever player. Tipped for big things back then, he has matured into one of the best back-rowers in League One, as shown by his joint-Press Player of the Year accolade last year.