No sooner has the football season ended, and optimism begins to rear its ugly head. After York City picked up a paltry 1 point from a possible 18 in the final throws of the campaign to finish a dismal 11th place, supporters were at their lowest ebb. Fast forward a couple of weeks and signing three new players in a week (all from Gateshead) has got fans of the Minstermen giddy with excitement; particularly when one player’s surname is ‘York’, where some are claiming it’s a sign. Well I guess when you finish slap bang in mid table for your first foray in regionalised football the only way is up.
As is the way for most followers of lower league football, any new players signing on the dotted line means some extensive research of their former glories: which used to comprise of someone saying a bloke in a pub said his brother’s mate’s cousin’s dog said player XXXX was good. Nowadays, research usually means a quick scan on Wikipedia which is exactly what I did for Wes York, where I found the really informative entry of “Wesley York is an English football player”.
I didn’t fair much better for Jordan Burrow on Wikipedia so I explored the BBC website for the games he, York, and Russell Penn played in the last few months of the season. It took a while to locate Burrow on the score sheet, but finally I got some success in early April where I scrolled down to read about his goal hoping for a bursting run from his own box where he left three players in his wake before finally unleashing a rocket from all of 35 yards into the top corner of the net. Unfortunately, his goal against Eastleigh was described as one in which he didn’t know a lot about, as the ball bounced off the striker and looped into the net. To be fair if he scores with nose every week, and it leads to York City getting out of the National League North, we will all be happy.
So we will soon find out if Wes York and Jordan Burrow will make a difference and we already know a lot about former captain Russell Penn who has re-signed. Experienced Spennymoor right back Kallum Griffiths has also joined as well as some players from the youth team stepping up with pro contracts. At time of writing Martin Gray has said he is looking for two more signings, which equates to a similar nucleus to last season, which has me slightly worried. As one of my work colleagues pointed out, things will work out if those last two signings are Messi and Ronaldo. I would happily just take a couple from Harrogate Town, something I thought I would never write. However, credit where credit is due; our Yorkshire neighbours fully deserved their promotion after playing some terrific attacking football and scoring over 100 goals in the process.
Whilst Martin Gray works hard during the summer to put things right, Steven Gerrard is just starting his managerial career having been appointed Rangers manager. His first job is to stop Brendan Rodgers winning the title, which Gerrard already has experience of doing.
York City supporters have a chance to meet past and present players at the club’s annual Golf Day which is being held on Thursday 19th July at Pike Hills Golf Club in Askham Bryan. Alistair Burns, the managing secretary at Pike Hills, said “We are delighted to have been offered the chance to host what is already a very successful event for York City Football Club. We are looking forward to welcoming the players and guests to our club on July 19th”. The event forms part of the York City Vice presidents annual fund-raising efforts, and all money raised through sponsorship, competitive holes, green fees, and raffles goes into the football club.
Entry costs £40 per person (£160 for a team of four) and includes a dinner and prize presentation after the 18 hole tournament. Registration on the day is between 12noon-1.30pm and tee-off time is 2pm. Prizes are awarded to the first five teams and there are also ‘Nearest the Pin’ prizes. An auction of sporting items will also take place after the tournament. To register for this year’s Golf Day please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org