Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Former Warrington Wolves scrum-half Morgan Smith has spent the past couple of seasons in the nation’s capital at the London Broncos; however, in 2021 he will be heading back up north after signing with the York City Knights.
Smith has revealed that this move was largely motivated by personal reasons.
“My partner and I decided to move back up north due to changes in family circumstances (we have a baby on the way) and wanted to be closer to home, ” he told Everything Rugby League.
“I enjoyed my time in London immensely and it was a great experience to live in such a big, historical city. I’m also grateful for the opportunity that Wardy and Langers gave me to play regular Super League football in my preferred position.”
The Knights have recently received plenty of investment, with the state of the art York Community Stadium set to host the club for the next century, after they signed a 99-year lease to use the facilities.
This is a big reason as to why Smith specifically decided to sign for York when moving back up north.
“York was sold well to me. On the front of it, the most obvious pull factor is the new stadium and training facilities. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures but you don’t appreciate how good it is unless you’re there in person.
“When speaking to Fordy and Jon Flatman, I realised the club was very ambitious with the goal of reaching Super League. Obviously, that is something I wanted to be a part of and hopefully we can achieve.”
As well as moving to a new and improved stadium, the club has also heavily invested in new talent.
The likes of Adam Cuthbertson, Ryan Atkins and Brendan O’Hagan will don the black and yellow of York next season alongside Smith, with former player turned head coach James Ford still at the helm.
“We’re yet to come together as a group, but the signings we have made speak for themselves. Challenge cup winners, grand final winners and players who have played Super League throughout their playing career. This can only be a positive and I personally hope I can pick a few things up to implement in my own game.
“To be honest, the opportunity to work with Fordy was too good to pass up on. I believe I can improve as a player, a leader and a person with the help of his coaching.”
Although the Knights had not won a game when the 2020 Championship season was cancelled, with high calibre signings and a new stadium creating plenty of buzz around the club, promotion to Super League will be the goal next year.