Can Nigel Worthington keep City up again?
We come to our final preview of the 23 teams Blues’ will be facing next season, York City.
After suffering relegation to the Blue Square Premier in 2004, York City spent arguably longer than expected in the division. The likes of Billy McEwan, Colin Walker and Martin Foyle all tried, and failed to get York back to the Football League, until Gary Mills took over. Mills, who was brought to the club from Tamworth in 2010, guided York to their most successful season two years later. The 2011/12 campaign was highly successful. The club finished in 4th place, beating Mansfield Town in the play-off semi-finals to set up a tie against Luton Town at Wembley. York won the match 2-1 to seal a return to the Football League. Eight days prior to this, the club were back at the national stadium again. This time for the FA Trophy Final, beating Newport County 2-0.
Nigel Worthington was appointed as the York City manager midways through last season after Gary Mills’ departure. Worthington has previously managed his country, Northern Ireland, from 2007 to 2011. In club management, the 51-year-old has taken charge at Blackpool, Leicester City and Norwich City, where he achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2004. As a player, Worthington made over 300 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday during a decade at Hillsborough, and has also represented Notts County, Stoke City, Leeds United and Blackpool, as a defender or midfielder.
In goal for the Minstermen will be long-serving 32-year-old Michael Ingham. The former Northern Ireland joined York from Wrexham in 2009 and has been an regular in the side since. Chris Kettings has recently joined on a season-long loan from Blackpool and will be hoping to push Ingham for the number one spot. Defensively, captain, Chris Smith should be a mainstay at centre half, along with former Histon right back, Lanre Oyebanjo. David McGurk and Danny Parslow are also options for Nigel Worthington. Former Leicester City player, Adam Chambers, is likely to take his place on the wing, with ex-Barnsley and Grimsby Town wide man Michael Coulson on the other side. Youngster, 19-year-old Tom Platt, could play in a central position after breaking through to the first team at the back end of last season. Up front, former Leyton Orient and Torquay United striker, Ryan Jarvis and ex-Burnley forward Wes Fletcher are two new signings that could lead the line.
After an excellent 2012/13 season at Hereford United, Ryan Bowman made his return to the Football League with York City, signing last month. The 21-year-old, who began his career with Carlisle United in 2009, has previously spent time on loan at Workington, and Darlington, prior to moving to Hereford last summer. He finished last season with 19 goals for the Bulls.
Last season was York’s first season back in the Football League after almost a decade in the Blue Square Premier. It was mainly a season of struggle, with the Minstermen spending a lot of the time in the bottom two. However, late into the season, the club picked up some good form, winning four of the final five games and saving themselves from an instant return to non-league football.
Nigel Worthington looked to completely re-vamp his squad with a number of high profile exit. Leaving the club was midfielder, Scott Kerr, who has now joined Grimsby Town. Also departing Bootham Crescent was Jason Walker, Patrick McLaughlin, Lee Bullock and Jon Challinor. Matty Blair was also released and has since joined Fleetwood Town. Coming in, Worthington has already snapped up Wes Fletcher, Ryan Bowman, Craig Clay, Estonian international Sander Puri and striker, Ryan Jarvis.
BLUES vs. YORK CITY:
Home: Blues 0-0 York City
Both teams played out a 0-0 stalemate at Roots Hall back at the end of October. Jason Walker had two good chances for York, whilst both Chris Barker and Kevan Hurst wasted good opportunities for Blues.
Blues: Smith, Clohessy, Straker, Cresswell, Barker, Hurst (Martin, 90), Laird, Woodyard, Eastwood (Corr, 75), Assombalonga, Tomlin
Unused: Bentley, Phillips, Spicer, Clarke-Harris, Benyon
Away: York City 2-1 Blues
With York battling to survive at the lower echelons of the League 2 table, Blues were in for a tough afternoon. It was made even more challenging for the visitors when York’s Adam Reed put his side 1-0 up inside the opening minute. Although Ryan Leonard grabbed an equaliser for Phil Brown’s side, Matt Blair’s strike in the 41st minute won the game for the Minstermen.
Blues: Bentley, Clohessy, Straker, Cresswell, Prosser, Lund, Leonard, Laird (Tomlin, 52), Eastwood, Corr, Assombalonga (Hurst, 69)
Unused: Smith, Spillane, Phillips, Barker, Pinnock
York City are 9/1 to win promotion this coming season.