Joe Brown insists that himself and James Glover are setting themselves higher standards in 2023 after their fruitful centre-wing partnership blossomed last year for York Knights.
Brown and Glover both joined York ahead of the 2022 season, arriving from Bradford Bulls and Sheffield Eagles respectively, and quickly established a formidable right-edge combination.
Between them, the pair contributed 30 tries, with Brown crossing 17 times and Glover finding the whitewash on 13 occasions.
Having played a key role in the Knights’ first ever Betfred Championship play-off victory - winning 26-24 at Halifax Panthers in September - Brown is desperate for more joy for both the duo and the club.
“It was a partnership that we worked at quite a bit,” Brown said of the Glover partnership. “I don’t think it clicked until we all started clicking as a team.
“The more we trained and played together, that’s when the relationship got stronger, in my opinion.
“Now we’ve had our first year with each other, we know what to expect from one another and we're a bit harder on each other now because we know the standards that each of us sets for ourselves.
“We’re after more or less the same (in 2023), just with being a little bit harder on each other and trying to get better as a partnership.”
Brown is expecting another immensely tough challenge for York in the Betfred Championship in 2023.
“I felt last year was the strongest the Championship has been but this year, it’s gone up another level,” added the 22-year-old.
“There’s so many clubs that could potentially get in the play-offs and there’s more clubs than there’s ever been who could stake a claim for promotion.
“It’s the most competitive that I’ve ever seen the Championship. We’ve got to be as consistent as we can to be in the mix for the play-offs and to give ourselves the best chance come the business-end of the season.
“It’s a lot more competitive this year, so it’s going to be a lot harder. There’s a lot of teams spending quite a lot of money this year, which the Championship’s not seen for a number of years.
“It’s going to be another tough year and there’s not going to be any easy games.
“We’ll have to be consistent and prove ourselves again.”
Behind the scenes, the Knights have been training hard in pre-season under new head coach Andrew Henderson.
Brown continued: “Hendo sees the game slightly differently to what I’ve experienced before, so it’s been good to get his insight.
“He’s demanding as a coach, he’s got high standards but that’s only going to be a good thing when the season starts and we’ve adopted those standards.
“Pre-season has been tough and a bit gruelling. But we’re looking sharp as a team, getting the calls and the defensive systems right, so we’re looking good and feeling good.”
The Knights continue their pre-season preparations at home to last season's Betfred Championship Grand Finalists Batley Bulldogs on Sunday (3pm).
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