ANDREW Henderson is convinced a new frontier in York is ready to welcome Super League.
And he is adamant the city and the club can bring benefits on and off the field.
Andrew Henderson believes York are on their way to Super LeagueCredit:
Maybe not this year as they start their play-off bid at Bradford with just 17 fit players, but soon.
The Knights hope to secure a busy weekend next week as triumph over the Bulls will send them to leaders Featherstone on the same day the women’s Valkyrie side plays its Grand Final.
Throw in a fine stadium, top training facilities and a city with more than 200,000 inhabitants and everything is set up for Super League.
And whether they go all the way from sixth this year or make it under strategic partner IMG’s grading criteria, which comes in for 2025, Henderson believes they are ready to boost the sport.
He said: “York is ready to kick on, that’s why I came to the club.
“We’ve a lot of things going for us in terms of Super League playing and training facilities, the women’s team and excellent youth development programs.
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“And there’s a great commercial opportunity in the city. We’ve the demographic of North Yorkshire we can tap into – the growth potential’s there and York will be a Super League club in the future.
“I’ve spoken with the owner and had early conversations. We have to be ready if the unthinkable happens.
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“We’ve a plan for 2025, the two years after that and the two after that. If we end up in Super League in 2024, we won’t deviate from that.”
Tasks do not come much tougher than defeating the third-placed side on their home turf when down to the bare 17 fit players.
But pushing eventual winners Leigh all the way in the Challenge Cup quarter final with even fewer gives Henderson hope York can make it 11 wins out of 12.
He added: “That game was a bit of a turning point for our season.
“We went in with 16 fit players and I had to call in a favour from John Duffy at Wigan to send me two reserve grade players, just so we could field a matchday 18.
“Those two only had two training sessions but we were leading for 60 minutes and really challenged Leigh.
“That formed a catalyst for us going on a good run. The players know they can raise their game and the intensity will rise.”