Henderson Looking To Build On York Knights' Thriving Foundations

After five years in the back room, Hendo returns to the hot seat with York
11:00, 03 Feb 2023

In York Knights, Andrew Henderson has found the perfect club to resume his head coaching career five years on from leaving London Broncos. And with the new Betfred Championship season about to get underway, the former Warrington Wolves assistant boss and Keighley Cougars head of rugby can’t wait to build on the fine work going on across the club.

The Yorkshire side have developed a reputation as one of the second tier’s most impressive outfits having earned a play-off spot in two of their three full seasons since returning to this level. And while highly-rated coach James Ford has left to become Wakefield Trinity’s number two, his successor says that owner and chairman Clint Goodchild has the kind of vision it was difficult to say no to.

“After meeting the owner and hearing his plans for the club, and his ambition and his aspirations, they were certainly aligned with mine, Henderson tells The Sportsman.” So I just felt this York job has come at the right time and it’s the right fit for me. It’s a really exciting project to be part of.”


It is not lost on the former Scotland hooker that the chance to take over a club on the up is not presented very often in sport.

“Generally when a club makes a change it’s because the club is at rock bottom and needs an impetus of ideas and fresh energy, or the club’s at the top of the tree and the coach gets another opportunity elsewhere having achieved what they wanted to do,” he adds. “It’s not too often that the change is made as it is now. The foundations are pretty good, when you look off the field the operation is strong behind the scenes from the business side of things, the training facilities are Super League standard, the playing facilities are Super League standard.”

The 43-year-old goes on to say that while he’s satisfied with many of the recruitment decisions that were made before his arrival, he will continue to hope for a greater quantity of options.

“I’m happy with the squad, I just wish it was a little bit deeper. But I had these conversations with Clint coming in. One of the first questions any coach asks is ‘What budget have I got left to bring in players?’… ‘You’ve got none, Hendo. That’s your squad!’

“Obviously the previous coaching team and Clint had recruited and retained the squad, it’s just a little bit unfortunate for me that we’ve had a number of players on the treatment table. It hasn’t been the ideal preparation but, saying that, I have to give a lot of credit to the playing group because the others that have been here from the start of pre-season until now have really conducted themselves very professionally.”

York’s Betfred Championship campaign begins on Sunday when they host Widnes Vikings at the LNER Community Stadium, kicking-off at 3pm.


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