York name Gary Thornton as new coach

York have appointed former Batley coach Gary Thornton as their new head coach for next season.

Thornton, currently Under 20s coach at Castleford, has signed a two-year deal and will take over from player-coach Chris Thorman at the end of this season, when Thorman moves on to take up an assistants role at Huddersfield.

Knights General Manager Ian Wilson said: “When we were informed that Chris was to leave the club at the end of the season we discussed what type of coach we wanted. We wanted someone who has coached at this level before, who was familiar with young players in the region and a hard working, motivated individual, and in Gary we believe we will get all of this and more. 

“We were impressed with him from the very first time we met him and myself and all of the staff and players at the club are really looking forward to working with him.”

Thornton took charge at Mount Pleasant in 2003, and was named National League 1 coach of the year in 2006, as he led the Bulldogs to the play-off semi-finals.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be back as a Head Coach with York City Knights. This is a club I have always admired, and I know John and Ian have big ambitions which match mine. There are some exciting times ahead with the move to the new stadium, and I am honoured to be a part of that. 

“I have had three seasons working in a Super League environment which has benefited me immensely, but have always kept a keen eye on the Championship, with a burning desire to return as soon as an opportunity came along. I am thrilled that John and Ian have given me that opportunity with the Knights; an opportunity I am relishing and I can’t wait to get started.”

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