York College Rugby League, coached by Jack Stearman are on the verge of winning the Student RL Yorkshire College League Division Two title.
After an impressive season that has seen them suffer just one narrow defeat, York have three home games left to secure the title before they launch their challenge on the National Cup. Thanks to a lot of hard work from players and coaches alike, the College team are now beginning to reap the rewards of a partnership with York City Knights.
The partnership has been going since 2007 and sees the City's professional team provide York College with expert coaching, physio and conditioning, and they have been provided with a kit for 2013 thanks to Ian Walker & Co Accountants who are based in York.
"The lads have been absolutely outstanding all year. In training the lads have been excelling and their performances on the pitch have been really good." Said Stearman.
"It is a massive learning curve for all the lads to make the step up to the next level, but throughout all teams we have 7 players who are now signed on with York City Knights in one form or another and it is an important stepping stone to the Knights u20s squad. It shows any young rugby player in York that the pathways to pro-rugby are there, while earning further educational qualifications at the same time. Its a win win situation for anyone who is willing to work hard enough for it."
"We would love to have some support for the boys at our remaining games, which will all be played at Sim Balk Lane at 2pm on consecutive Wednesdays, starting with Pontefract College on the 13th February."
For prospective students looking to start in September, the York College Development Centre is one of the very few in the region and attracts stiff competition for places.
Professional standard coaching is provided by the College through the use of coaches from the York City Knights and training takes place on both grass and 3rd Generation synthetic pitches and players will play regular Wednesday afternoon fixtures in the Student Rugby League (SRL).
Players of all abilities and experience are welcome, including Rugby Union players. Opportunities are also there for students to represent their country at International level.
Please visit http://www.yorkcollege.ac.uk/sportsdevelopmentcentre/rugby/ for more information.
Halifax coach Richard Marshall has acknowledged that his team have not hit the heights this season, but have still shown signs of steady and positive progress.