York RLFC are pleased to confirm the signing of York-born Ben Barnard on a two-year deal, thanks to the support of Squad Builder.
20-year-old Barnard initially joined the Knights on trial in April and, after impressing in training, he made his first-team debut in September in the 74-12 victory over Workington Town, earning Heritage Number #1919 in the process.
A prop forward, Barnard came through the age group ranks at local community club Heworth before arriving at the Knights.
On signing for the Club, Barnard said: “It’s great to get a deal sorted. You always want to represent your own city and it’s a great opportunity to be playing at a good level, as well.
“I hope I can do well for the team and the fans.”
Taking us through his rugby league journey, the prop added: “I started at under-11s at Heworth and I’d been there ever since. I got picked up after playing there and invited for a trial after meeting with the former coach.
“I must have impressed enough to pick up a deal for the next couple of years.”
Discussing his Knights debut against Workington and the sort of player he views himself as being, Barnard said: “It was a great feeling, warming up in front of a crowd like that and then the reaction when I got onto the pitch was just great. I loved it.
“I like running the ball in hard and I don’t really care who is in front of me – I’ll just run it in as hard as I can. I’ll be giving my all to get the metres the team need me to and maybe get a couple of offloads away as well!”
Training with the Knights’ squad last season, Barnard was learning from players with vast experience such as Jordan Thompson, Chris Clarkson and Danny Kirmond. “That was great and I hope it will continue. The knowledge and experience those players have is huge and during training they were always pointing out little things that I could work on to improve my game.
“That sort of thing really helps.”
Finally, Barnard pointed to his goals over the next couple of years: “To try make it into that starting squad on a regular basis! I’ll always be doing my best, both in training and on the pitch, to do those people around me proud.”
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