York have been one of the fastest growing clubs in the lower leagues recently, and at the heart of that has been James Ford.
The Head Coach has overseen an evolution at the City Knights as the club lures some top tier talent to York such as the arrival of Adam Cuthbertson last year and the signing of Pauli Pauli ahead of what could be a huge 2022 for the club.
Regarded as one of the finest young coaches around and a man many believe will shine in Super League one day, York fans were worried that he may be tempted away but today speculation over his future has drawn to a close as the clubs announced a new deal.
It was revealed that Ford has agreed a three-year deal with the club keeping him tied to the City Knights until the end of 2024.
The 39-year-old was awarded with the 2019 Championship Coach of the Year underlining his quality making this announcement brilliant news for everyone associated with the club.
Speaking to the club’s official website about the new contract, Ford said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a project that I’m really enjoying and I think that, over the time I’ve been here, the progress the club has made is very clear and evident. The thing that excites me the most, however, is the potential of the club. I don’t think we’ve got anywhere close to fulfilling the club’s potential yet which is really exciting.”
He also discussed his development as a coach: “I thought in 2015, when I took over, that I was ready to be head coach and have a positive impact on the club and it’s players. Looking back now, I think the saying we often use is ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ and I’ve learned so much in that time. I feel like I’ve improved as a person and a coach a fair bit since 2015 and I think 2021 played a big part in that. I’ve often said you don’t always learn from winning competitions and positivity. You can learn a lot in other ways as well and I feel that last season was a really good exercise in terms of me learning about recruitment and retention, as well as being put in situations I couldn’t have imagined would exist in rugby league. But I’ve been in those situations now and it wasn’t nice – it was incredibly difficult – but that’s now in my toolkit and, if and when I’m challenged like that again, I’ve been through it and we’ve been through it as a club and we will be stronger for it.”
Expect him to continue developing over the next three years becoming potentially the best coach in Championship.