Here at Talking Bull we look ahead to the Bulls’ fourth home match of the season next Saturday, when York City make the long trek south to Edgar Street. Simon Wright wonders if Hereford can bounce back quickly from their first home defeat of the campaign to Bradford Park Avenue.
Along with Stockport, York are the Big Daddy of our League. And much the same as Stockie, in recent years they’ve been quite awful to support. Three years ago, they were in the Football League with a wage bill of £2.2 million. That covered 64 players and 21 paid off-field staff.
York were relegated, threw money they hadn’t got at a quick return and instead dropped into National League North instead. Horrible way to go. With ten minutes of the season left, they were safe but a very late goal elsewhere put them down. Last season, they lost their goalscorer to injury (they only had the one) and missed the play-offs. Natives are not happy and the pressure on the players to perform is immense. York are of course full time. Pressure comes from the Boardroom where the Chairman continues to subsidise the clubs losses.
City have 21 players in their squad, including 8 new arrivals and a total of 6 strikers. Four of the new arrivals jumped ship from Step 1 Gateshead who came close to closing in the summer. On the downside, some of the squad are halfway through a two-year deal. They are thought to be on high wages and City were unable to off load any of them.
Look out for:
Striker Big Daddy sorry Jon Parkin. He’s 37, grey haired and 6 foot 4. Played for 20 years, mainly in the Football League with Stoke, Hull etc. I saw him a few times, never really impressed in the pro game. But in Non-League, he is formidable. He takes a mean free-kick. Scored 25 times last season. I last saw him for York 18 months ago and he was the stand out player, winning everything in the air. That said, he’s become an impact sub this season in the first four games. Started the fifth game and scored.
Also Adam Bartlett in goal. He’s now 32 and York is his fourth club after leaving Hereford United. He’s already saved one penalty this season. There are lots of connections between York and Hereford. Rankine, Brodie, Ferrell, Martin Foyle even Colin Addison just to quote a few.
The season began with Martin Gray as manager. He had led Darlington for their first five years as a phoenix club and took them to three promotions. However, after an indifferent start he was sacked last week, despite having brought in a host of new signings in the summer. Perhaps he can now go back to his day job, as he owns a Football Academy.
City have had a mixed bag of results so far. They beat Ashton and Stockport, lost to Alfreton and Chorley and drew with Curzon, Only averaging a goal a game. Longstaff, a summer signing, is top scorer with 2. Today they managed a goalless draw at Brackley Town.
York City had one of the first ever fanzines. Called Terrace Talk, it started in 1981 and a lot of people, including myself, drew inspiration from it. I had my first effort out in 1983, partly thanks to pioneers like TT. Fanzines always work best for clubs that are struggling so no surprise City supporters started new ones recently.
Sticking with off-beat reading, look out on Amazon for a book called Bicycle Kicks. A City supporter gave up his job and spent a season cycling to every York City game home and away. Just the odd 10,000 miles. It’s a well written and likeable publication and definitely worth £3.50 for the Kindle version.