The ever-improving York City Knights finally achieved promotion in 2018. They overcame the odds to pip favourites Bradford Bulls to the League 1 title.
This meant they earned automatic meaning they could focus on their off-season before most other sides.
Innovative marketing campaigns off the field and and a wonderful performance in the Challenge Cup against eventually winners Catalans Dragons meant that the Knights became a favourite among neutrals.
With Ben Cockayne and Graeme Horne in the squad offering experience, and youngsters Liam Salter and Matty Marsh bring Super League quality to the side.
Exciting young players Will Jubb and former Wakefield winger Judah Maxine meant that the squad was already Championship ready before the season started.
In what has been deemed a quiet off- season the players that have arrived for the Knights are still outstanding in quality.
Salter and Marsh have been made permanent signings and Kriss Brining has resigned with York after spending time with Salford.
Joe Batchelor was been snapped up by St Helens but Dave Petersen has been brought in from the abyss after a three year absence, while Perry Whiteley and Jason Bass have been signed from Keighley and Coventry as has Hemel Stags’ Marcus Stock.
With Greg Minikin and Kriss Brining coming through the Knights ranks in previous years, York picked up two more project signings in the form of Ross Osborne and Kevin Brown from Hull FC and St Helens respectively.
Jack Teanby also adds a significant weight to the forward pack.
While starting the season at Bootham Crescent they will move into their new purpose-built York Community Stadium in the summer. For a side already making strides both on and off the field their new facility will ensure that the progress continues for the East Yorkshire side.
All eyes will be on the Knights again in 2019 and I see them avoiding relegation with ease.
Matty Marsh, Ash Robson, Liam Salter, Brad Hey, Matt Chilton, Ben Cockayne, Connor Robinson, Ronan Dixon, Will Jubb, Jack Teanby, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Sam Scott, Tim Spears, Harry Carter, Graeme Horne, Jack Blagbrough, Joe Porter, Mike Kelly, Perry Whiteley, Judah Mazive, Marcus Stock, Jason Bass, Kevin Brown, Kriss Brining.
Kriss Brining (Salford Red Devils), Dave Petersen (unattached), Jack Blagbrough (Leigh Centurions), Perry Whiteley (Keighley Cougars), Kevin Brown (St Helens), Matty Marsh (Hull KR), Jack Teanby (Dewsbury Rams), Liam Salter (Liam Salter), Jason Bass (Coventry Bears), Marcus Stock (Hemel Stags), Ross Osborne (Hull FC).
Joe Batchelor (St Helens), Adam Robinson (Hunslet), Dan Hawksworth (Hunslet), Rory Dixon (Sheffield Eagles).