A brand new era begins at York City this weekend with freshly-installed manager Martin Gray and sporting director Dave Penney overseeing team affairs following the dismissal of predecessor Gary Mills and his assistant Darren Caskey.
Previously a tenacious midfielder with Oxford United and Sunderland, Gray arrives with a noted reputation of ‘incredible singular drive and passion’; and an accompanying track record of three promotions and a couple of play-off finishes during his five-and-a-half years at former club Darlington.
He’ll obviously massively require those kind of qualities to revive a club suffering recent back-to-back relegations and then too regularly underperforming in their first-ever season at level six, despite a current positioning of seventh.
The Minstermen had kicked off their latest campaign as clear second-favourites for the title, but a dreadful inconsistency has since continued to plague their efforts and left them already seriously playing catch-up with a fraction over a quarter of the season completed.
Brackley have lost just one of their previous twenty-three games – and that to title favourites Salford City; although they are actually without a victory in their last five league outings.
“We’re going to play very high-tempo, attacking football,” manager Martin Gray told BBC Radio York. “We want to excite the crowd and give them something to shout about. It’s going to be a tough game because Brackley are a very, very good team in this league. They’ve done ever so well this season – in the FA Cup as well.
“Last season they should have probably finished in the play-offs,” he continued. “The big FA Cup run they had probably hampered them towards the back end of the season. It won’t be an easy game but is a game we’re really looking forward to. We’re at home and have got to make sure we put in a fantastic performance with loads of energy.”
York City Team News:
New signing David Ferguson appears guaranteed to start, especially with left-back Alex Whittle carrying a slight groin problem. But fellow defender Josh Law has recovered from a similar condition while previously out-of-favour Aidan Connolly may come into contention. Striker Michael Rankine remains out following recent high blood pressure.
York City (from): Worsnop, Law, Parslow, Bencherif, Ferguson, Heslop, Moke, Wharton, Newton, Almond, Morgan-Smith, Parkin, Felix, Muggleton, Sukar, Smith, Simpson, Connolly
Player to watch: David Ferguson
Highly-rated England ‘C’ captain and top scorer at Darlington before his move.
Brackley Town Team News:
Leading goalscorer Jimmy Armson remains an injury doubt for the visitors in an otherwise fully available squad.
Brackley Town (possible): Lewis, Lowe, Gudger, S. Byrne, Graham, Dean, G. Walker, J. Byrne, Ndlovu, A. Williams A. Walker
subs: Diggin, Franklin, Tilney, Myles, Brown
Player to watch: Luke Graham
Former York centre-back making a return to Bootham Crescent.
Match Facts & Stats
A single previous meetings of the clubs back in Febuary, York winning an FA Trophy quarter-final 1-0 courtesy of Jon Parkin.
Link: Red Rewind – City scrape through to last four
York – Leamington (A); Brackley – Billericay Town (FAC4QR) (H)
Weekend Games: AFC Telford v Boston; Alfreton v Chorley; Blyth v Nuneaton; Bradford PA v Kidderminster; Curzon Ashton v Harrogate; Darlington v Stockport; North Ferriby v FC United of Manchester; Salford v Leamington; Southport v Spennymoor; Tamworth v Gainsborough; York City v Brackley