Squad Builder seals Harris return!

Published: 12 October, 2021 - 5:57 pm

York City Knights are delighted to confirm the signing of half-back Liam Harris from Halifax Panthers on a one-year-deal, in association with Atropa Pharmacy and thanks to the support of Squad Builder.

24-year-old Harris will be a familiar name and face to Knights fans having previously represented the club in two spells, helping the Knights to a memorable victory over Toronto Wolfpack during his spell with the club on dual-registration from Hull Kingston Rovers in 2017 before playing a pivotal role in securing a third-place Betfred Championship finish when on loan from Hull FC in 2019.

In his first spell, Harris made eighteen appearances for the club, scoring fourteen tries and kicking twelve goals, with those performances earning a nomination for the League 1 Young Player of the Year award.

Harris made eighteen appearances during his second spell in all competitions, scoring five tries.

2021 has seen the former Hull FC playmaker star for Halifax Panthers on their run to the Championship Play-Offs and now he joins Jamie Ellis in the Knights’ halves options for 2022.

On bringing Harris back to the club, Head Coach James Ford said: “Liam is a player I really enjoyed working with previously and I’m confident I’ll enjoy it again. He is an intelligent young man who has yet to play to his full potential.

“He’ll bring a good level of game management, a strong kicking game, and a threat with his pace and distribution skills.”

Discussing his return to the club, Harris admitted he was excited to be back.

“I can’t wait to get started. It’s somewhere I’ve really enjoyed playing when I’ve been there previously and I’m looking forward to getting started again at the Knights.

Having a great understanding with Head Coach Ford played a massive part in attracting him back, as Harris explains.

“I probably wouldn’t have signed if he wasn’t the coach so that says a lot about him and our relationship has been well documented. He brings the best out of his players and I’m looking forward to kicking on under his management again.

“He knows I’ve always been honest with him and I’ve always given a hundred per cent when I’ve worked with him. He cares about his players and I think he knows he can get the best out of me.

This season saw Harris play a key role in guiding Halifax to a third-place finish in the Championship and the half-back believes that the Knights fans will see an even stronger player than his last spell with the club two years ago.

“I came back in 2019 a better player after 2017 and, obviously, I’ve been away to Halifax and I feel I’m coming back an even better player now and hopefully that continues. I’m maturing and my performances are showing that. Hopefully, I can find another level to that, really kick on and help the team have a really successful year.

Harris joins Jamie Ellis as a new half-back recruit and the Hull-born playmaker commented on looking forward to playing and training alongside the former Leigh man.

“It’s funny because I roomed with Jamie in Tenerife on a pre-season camp with Hull KR and I made my debut for Hull KR with Jamie. He’s really experienced, I know how good he can be so I’m really looking forward to learning off him and, hopefully, he can help me player better as well.

A player with a couple of Knights spells under his belt, Harris has played with several key Knights players previously.

“They’re good friends. People like Will (Jubb) and Matty (Marsh) I’ve known for years and I’m looking forward to getting back playing with them. I suppose it helps that I’ve got combinations with a lot of people in that team and, while there will be plenty of new faces, it always helps when you’ve played with a number of them before.

During his previous spells with the club, Harris established himself as a real fans’ favourite, starring in memorable victories over Toronto Wolfpack and Bradford Bulls, and he admitted he’s looking forward to playing for them again.

“I can’t wait. They really took to me and they’ve always been fantastic every time I’ve played. That’s something that really draws you back to a club and there will be plenty more of those moments next year.

Discussing the role of Squad Builder in sealing this deal, Knights Chairman Jon Flatman said: “The importance of Squad Builder mustn’t be underestimated. The work done by them in raising funds and gathering donations for the club really does help and, hopefully, with the signing of players with Liam’s quality, fans can see the difference it makes.”

You can find out more about Squad Builder or donate at their new website yorksquadbuilder.com.