Prop forward James Green initially signed for the Knights ahead of the 2020 season and, after signing for next year, commented on his enjoyment of what was, ultimately, a short maiden campaign.
“I’m really happy to be re-signing for the club,” Green said. “Although last season was very short, I really enjoyed it.”
“Everyone wants to be a part of success and be in a professional environment and that’s exactly what we have here,” he further added on his reasons for joining the club and, this week, signing new terms with the Knights. “I had a lot mates here already who I’d played with in the past and the success the team had in 2019 were big draws as well,” he furthered.
The professional environment Green spoke about includes the club’s existing training base at the excellent York St John Sports Park and is soon to be added to in the shape of the LNER Community Stadium, our long-awaited new home. While the 29-year-old forward hasn’t yet visited the new ground, he admits to being impressed by what he has seen and the hope that it will help the club develop further.
“Round one will be a surprise for me but it looks awesome on the photos!
“As a player, you want to play in front of good crowds and in nice facilities,” he explained, “so I’m hoping it will bring more people and home games will become a real event – not just eighty minutes of rugby but a full day out for people to enjoy.”
Given the season’s premature ending, Green and his Knights teammates have had time away from the sport but the former Super League forward’s day job has kept him occupied.
Working as a mortgage advisor, Green explained that he has been kept busy by clients. “It’s been really busy since lockdown eased with people eager to move house after being cooped up in a house they aren’t fond of,” he reasoned. “The stamp duty holiday has really helped, as well.”
On what led him into that field of work, Green expressed that it spawned from his previous investment in property. “I’ve bought a few houses over the years and really enjoyed the finance side of things so studied to do it in my time off from rugby I attended courses and studied online to pass my exams,” he revealed.
Another thing that has kept the rangy prop occupied through lockdown is a new addition to his family, Sasha the American Bulldog. “We rescued her in May after we saw an urgent appeal for her to be rehomed because she’d been in the shelter for 18 months,” Green noted. “She’s been great in lockdown. She’s kept us busy, helping her get settled in, playing with her and walking her. She’s ace!”
Now, though, after plenty of time at home and away from the game, the Knights players and staff are turning attention towards pre-season and 2021. Given that our support didn’t get to see too much of Green in the amber and black this year, he noted that he hopes to impress next season. “Although 2020 was short, I felt I’d just got going really,” he stated. “I’m hoping to pick up where I left off and I’m hoping to bring a big presence in attack.”
Those words will, no doubt, be music to the ears of Knights fans who, as announcements have been made in recent weeks as to the make up of our 2021 squad, are growing increasingly eager for the 2021 season to begin. The signings and retentions the club has made have been, in no small part, aided by the incredible generosity of our 2020 members, over 93% of whom elected to become Knights Patrons in donating their money back to the club – a gesture which Green, like all at the club, has been taken aback by.
“You hear of some teams really struggling at the moment due to cash flow issues as a result of Covid-19 but we don’t hear that from York,” he revealed. “That’s testimony to our supporters who continue to back us financially.
“In 2021 is down to us to repay their passion and commitment to the club with our performances.”