Rovers and York partnership to reach new heights
Hull Kingston Rovers can confirm its partnership with York City Knights will continue in 2018 with both clubs set to continue supporting each other on and off the field.
A successful dual registration agreement was established between to two sides earlier this season and has gone from strength to strength in recent months, with the Robins achieving promotion to the Betfred Super League and the Knights suffering a golden point defeat in their Kingstone Press League 1 play-off semi-final.
As well as the movement of players between the clubs as part of the dual registration and loan process, the relationship also involved the sharing of numerous resources, with Rovers benefitting from the Knights’ connection with York St John University to gain access to the campus’ state-of-the-art sports facilities during the course of the year.
The university’s £8 million training complex features a variety of 3G and floodlit pitches, fully equipped strength and conditioning suites, video analysis rooms and meeting space, with the first team squad keen to utilise the 57-acre site once again during pre-season and into 2018.
Hull KR head coach Tim Sheens said: “Having a partnership with the level of understanding and cooperation that exists between the two clubs is of huge importance to us both moving forward.
“We are in constant communication with each other, we see ourselves as part of the same family and from our point of view we expect our relationship with York to become even stronger in 2018.
“With the infrastructure York have, the players in their squad and the coaching staff at their disposal, we fully expect them to be challenging for promotion to the Championship once again and we’d love to support them in achieving that goal.
“A number of our players contributed to the excellent season the Knights have just had, they went with the right attitude and were made to feel welcome, not just the younger players in our squad but some experienced pros as well. That will continue next year and Ben Cockayne has also joined York which will further strengthen the connection between the two clubs.
“That’s the kind of environment we want our players to be involved in and we get constant feedback on their performance, so we can monitor their progress over a sustained period of regular football.”
York chairman Jon Flatman said: “We couldn’t be happier with the way our partnership with Rovers has evolved this season and we’re looking forward to working with them again in 2018, both continuing some of the things which have proved successful for us so far and adding some new ideas to the mix as well.
“It’s very much a mutual relationship with both parties benefitting in different ways. From our point of view, Hull KR’s return to Super League will mean they run with a slightly smaller squad next season with more of an emphasis on quality. That will only strengthen our options to have some of these players available to us throughout the year.”