Kirmond signs for 2022!
York City Knights are delighted to confirm that Danny Kirmond, sponsored by East Yorkshire Shutters, has signed a new one-year deal with the club for 2022, in association with Atropa Pharmacy.
With over 300 career appearances to his name, Kirmond came to the Knights with vast experience ahead of the 2021 campaign after nine years with Wakefield Trinity.
Veteran forward Kirmond began his career with Featherstone Rovers in 2005 before having a three-year spell with Huddersfield Giants.
In his first year with the Knights, Kirmond made eighteen appearances for the club and, towards the end of the season, put his hand up to help the team in the middle, moving in from his more recognisable role in the back row.
On the retention of Kirmond, Knights Head Coach James Ford said:
“Danny is a really important re-signing for the team and the club. His experience will be key in helping a new team gel.
“He had a good season under difficult circumstances, playing with numerous half-backs. Those makeshift options impacted his attacking game but he always worked tremendously hard, regularly topping fifty tackles per game. This is the kind of effort a good team needs.
“Danny will also play a key role in the development of Toby Warren and our other young forwards.”
After signing his new deal, Kirmond said: I just love playing, especially in front of my family, and I really enjoyed last year.
“It was probably one of my most enjoyable years in the last five or six years so it was an easy decision to decide to carry on. While I’m enjoying it, it’s probably something that I’ll continue to do.
“It was the first time I’d played in front of my youngest girl. She was born Christmas Day 2019 and this year was the first time she had seen me play, obviously with matches behind closed doors in 2020.
“It’s always special to play in front of your family and especially her. Seeing how much she loved it was great – don’t get me wrong, she probably doesn’t know what’s going on! – I just love her being there and seeing her smile after games.
Speaking about how the discussions on signing a new deal began, Kirmond pointed to a good relationship with his Head Coach.
“I kind of said it as a joke to Fordy at first. We have a good relationship, I’ve known Fordy for a long time. I mentioned to him that I was thinking of going around again about five weeks before the season finished and yeah, it went from there, really.
“I’m glad we got it done. I’ve really enjoyed it and, while there were other options there, I feel there’s a bit of unfinished business here as we didn’t achieve what we wanted to last year, both individually and as a team.
“I’ve always been quite loyal throughout my career and York gave me a chance in 2021 and I was willing to stay so, thankfully, I’m able to stay on for another year.
Towards the end of the 2021 campaign, Kirmond put his hand up and played matches at prop and loose-forward. On that experience, and where he sees himself playing in 2022, he said: “I did enjoy playing in the middle, but I still see myself as a back-rower. To have that ability to play in the middle as well adds a string to your bow, though.
“I enjoyed that. I thought I brought a bit of energy in the middle and, obviously, I’ve got quite a bit of experience, so it worked well. When you’re playing in the middle with people like Chris Clarkson, who does so much work and makes everybody else’s job so much easier than it normally would be.”
With considerable experience having left the Knights squad in the off-season, especially that of former captain Tim Spears, Kirmond’s retention is a vital one.
“There are a lot of leaders in our team. Vocally, you’re probably going to miss Tim and his leadership but I think we have got a number of people who lead by example in our team,” he explained.
“People like Matty Marsh, I’d follow him into anything. He really does lead by example in everything he does. Clarky as well, he’s a great captain and you just want to follow people like that.
“There are a lot of leaders in this team as well as those who can develop into that. I’m a bit different in the way that I lead. I’m not a screamer and a shouter, really, although I can do that if it’s needed, but I think my thing is more passing on knowledge.
“I did quite a bit of work with Toby last year and, to be honest, that’s more of an interest of mine. I think we have enough leaders without me having to do too much but, of course, I’m a senior player in the group and, to be a leader, you just have to be as professional as you can and I do that.”
Kirmond also pointed to a great buzz at our final home matches of 2021 as our fans began to really make the LNER Community Stadium feel like home.
“Every time we had a home game to the back end of the year, the atmosphere was brilliant. That last game against London was great, obviously a double-header with the Ladies’ team as well,” he said.
“To see everyone staying, getting behind the team in both games and that presentation at the end of the game was brilliant.
“We’ve got such a great stadium and such a great product and, throw in the city as well, it’s just brilliant. Hopefully, that atmosphere will carry on next year and we can keep building that to give the fans something to really shout about.”
Finally, veteran forward Kirmond discussed the Knights’ new signing Pauli Pauli, a former teammate of his during his time with Wakefield Trinity.
“He’s two opposite ends of the scale, on and off the field. Off the field, he’s such a nice guy, a really calm character but then on the field he’s an absolute animal. People sort of get lost in his size but he can really move.
“He’s quick off the mark and has great footwork – he’s a real talent and it just shows where the club is, that we can bring in that sort of player.
“It’s fantastic and the fact that Squad Builder can contribute to that signing is testament to that side of things, as well.”
Kirmond becomes the twenty-first signing for 2022 and, as preparations take a step up for next season in the coming weeks, there’s no better time to secure your Season Membership!
2021 levels have already been surpassed and, with four different membership options available, there really is something for everyone with the Knights in 2022! More information can be found at our website at yorkcityknights.com/22Memberships.