York City Knights part company with coach Gary Thornton

Gary Thornton
Thornton was formerly Batley Bulldogs coach and Under-20s coach at Castleford Tigers

Championship One club York City Knights have parted company with head coach Gary Thornton.

The Knights have acted after failing to win promotion to the Championship through the play-offs, having finished the regular season as league leaders.

Chairman John Guildford said the club would now look to build a team capable of winning promotion next year and then establish itself in the second tier.

"It's a massive disappointment," Thornton told BBC Radio York.

"I knew what the expectations were, and that the club would face big challenges if it didn't get promoted. Sport is a results-driven business, and I guess if you're given targets and don't achieve them, you lose your job, but it doesn't make it any easier to take.

"I've had two terrific seasons and I wish the club all the best, I really hope they kick on. There are no vacancies out there at the moment, so I'll be putting my feet up for a few months."

York were relegated from the Championship in 2013 and were beaten 32-24 at home by Hunslet on Sunday in the Championship One play-offs.

Hunslet will play Oldham in the Grand Final.