“I’m really pleased to have signed for another year. Once Fordy told me he’d like me to stay it was all sorted pretty quickly.”
After signing a new deal with the Knights, taking his second spell with the club into a fourth year, second-rower Sam Scott revealed that this is the place he wants to be playing his rugby league. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else – I have thoroughly enjoyed the last three years.”
On the reasons for extending his stay, the 30-year-old forward suggested that the people involved with the club make it a great place to be, adding “it’s just a brilliant club, everything about it.” Scott also pointed to the team that is being assembled, explaining that “Fordy looks to be building a good squad and obviously moving into a new stadium is exciting.”
After the latest images of the stadium were published last month, the enthusiasm ahead of the upcoming move to the LNER Community Stadium has grown. Scott himself has visited and said: “I went round a few weeks ago for a tour round and it’s some ground, really impressive.
“I played with York back in 2013 at Huntington Stadium with holes in the pitch from the shot-put pitch marks, it’s amazing to see how far the club has progressed!”
On that pitch will be the Knights’ squad, arguably the most impressive on paper in recent memory, and Scott will form part of what is a vastly experienced pack, something the forward believes will stand the team in good stead. “I’d say it’s massively important. There’s a few of us with a lot of Championship experience and a few with Super League experience,” he said, noting the importance of that long-earned knowhow. “The knowledge and leadership should be a real asset to the squad.”
That experience is something Scott believes will be of wider benefit to the squad, adding that “it should be a real asset to us. There are some really promising younger players, too, who will no doubt benefit from that.”
With such a strong squad forming, it is understandable that ambitions from the fans are high but Scott revealed that, as yet, group aims haven’t been established. “Obviously we’ve not started back training yet, so no plans or goals collectively have been made yet.
“I’d imagine Fordy will keep our ambitions in-house but, looking at the signings we’ve made and the lads who are staying, you’d hope to be up there at the business end of the season, as will other teams.”
With a decade under his belt as a part-time player, the enforced long break from the game has been the longest time away from rugby league that Scott has had. “As a part-time player for the last ten years, working during the day and training in the evening is all I’ve ever known,” he reasoned, pointing to the fact that he’s been able to do neither as much as he would have liked since March.
Scott shared that his two children have kept him busy but, after a long break and spending time at home, he’s eager to return. “It’s demanding at times (being a part-time player) and, as much as I enjoyed the forced time off at home with the family, I’m ready to get back to normality!
“I’m looking forward to seeing the lads and staff again,” he added before acknowledging the new rules which have been introduced to the game since the Betfred Championship season was abandoned and how he sees them affecting next year. “With regards to pre-season, I’d probably say I’m more nervous! With the rule changes and bits I’ve seen from games on the TV since the restart, it’s clear that the game is going to be much quicker which means we’re going to need to be fitter than ever.”
One thing that that players have noted in recent weeks as something which keeps them going when fatigued in a match is the support of the fans and, even without matches, our loyal support has more than done their bit for the team and club in recent months. With the continued hard work of Squadbuilder and the incredible generosity of our 2020 members, over 93% of whom elected to become Knights Patrons and donate their memberships back to the club, the Knights staff have been able to formulate plans for 2021.
Of their generosity, Scott admits he was taken aback. “I couldn’t believe the stat announced on the percentage of the fans that donated their membership back to the club,” he said. “In the current circumstances as well, thank you to every one of you. I’ve always admired the fans here, they create a top atmosphere during games and are always pleasant and supportive when you speak to them around the ground before and after games.
“York City Knights is a good club with good people all round, whether it be players, staff or supporters.”