Tomorrow, around 27 hours after York City Knights contest the Women’s Challenge Cup final against St Helens at Leigh, the club’s men have an opportunity to reach Wembley for only the second time – 90 years after their previous appearance at the national stadium.
York, who are sixth in the Championship, will go into their home 1895 Cup semi-final against Swinton Lions as strong favourites.
Swinton have lost all their eight league games this year, including a 64-16 demolition by York in April and are bottom of the table.
The Knights are unlikely ever to get a better opportunity and coach James Ford is not underestimating the importance of this game for a club who have not been as close to Wembley since losing a Challenge Cup semi-final to Wigan in 1984.
But, rather than concentrating on what is at stake, Ford’s priority is ensuring his side get their performance right and “tidy up” areas which let them down in a 37-18 Championship loss to Bradford Bulls last weekend.
“It means an awful lot, to the supporters, the club, the sponsors and everybody associated with the club,” said Ford of tomorrow’s tie.
“But we have got to focus on our preparations, Swinton are a dangerous side and we need to make sure we focus on our game, get that right and tidy up in a couple of areas.
“We are expecting a tough contest.”
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