In the spotlight: York City

Fact File

Full Name: York City Football Club

Year Formed: 1922

Nickname: The Minstermen

Stadium: York Community Stadium

Capacity: 8,500

2021/22 Finish: Fifth in the National League North

Review of the 2021/22 season

York City started the 2021/22 National League North season in poor form with three consecutive defeats. Despite Steve Watson’s side picking up wins in a sporadic manner, fans of the club were started to wonder if they were destined for another campaign in the sixth tier. Watson left York in November after a 0-0 draw to Curzon Ashton. John Askey was named as the new manager but struggled initially in his first month in charge. That would soon change with the Minstermen becoming the form team in the division. They were 11th in early February but by the end of the season, they moved up to sixth. Wins against Chorley, Brackley Town and Boston United completed an incredible turnaround for York who returned to the National league for the first time in five years.

Manager – John Askey

John Askey became a Macclesfield Town legend during his playing career as he made well over 500 appearances for the Silkmen. His managerial career started with the same club the year after his retirement as a player but didn’t last long as his term as interim manager ended after six months. He was given another chance at the first-team manager job in 2013. In his five-year spell, the former forward got to the FA Trophy final in 2016/17, which they lost 3-2 to York City, and won promotion back to the Football League a year later. Shrewsbury Town soon came calling but after a tough spell with the League One club and a two-year stay with Port Vale, Askey joined York City in November 2021. The 57-year-old immediately changed the fortunes of the Minstermen and guided them to promotion to the National League via the play-offs.

Star Player – Alex Whittle

Chesterfield fans will know that Alex Whittle has recently become one of the National League’s best left-backs. The defender has travelled around different clubs in non-league as well as a stint in Scotland with Dunfermline Athletic. In 2016, he joined National League side York City but suffered relegation in his first season with the club as well as an FA Trophy victory; Whittle would spend another year at Bootham Crescent before making the move to Forest Green Rovers. After spells at a few other clubs, he left Gloucester City to joined Chesterfield in 2020. In the 18 months he spent at the Technique Stadium, the wing-back became one of the Spireites’ most important players. Whittle scored four times in 41 appearances last season as the Blues’ made the National League play-offs. The 29-year-old left upon the expiry of his contract and re-joined York.

Overall Head-to-head Record

P89   W39   D26  L24

Chesterfield and York City have a head-to-head history that goes back to 1929 but the two clubs haven’t played each other since the 2013/14 season. Despite going 2-0 down, the Spireites battled back with Armand Gnanduillet and Jay O’Shea securing a home point. The reverse fixture went a lot more smoothly for Paul Cook’s side; Eoin Doyle and Gary Roberts came up with the goals in a 2-0 win at Bootham Crescent.

Played for both – Scott Boden

Scott Boden is just one of the three former Spireites that are currently at York City. The striker started his professional career with Sheffield United before joining Chesterfield in 2008. He spent five years in north Derbyshire, winning League Two and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – scoring 18 goals in 118 appearances in the process. Boden then played for clubs in England, Wales and Scotland in the five years after leaving the Technique Stadium. However, in 2019, Boden returned to Chesterfield and spent another two-and-a-half seasons with the club. The forward scored another 23 goals in 62 games before joining Boreham Wood. The 32-year-old spent just one year with the Wood before making the move to newly-promoted York City. Alex Whittle and Fraser Kerr are the other two former Blues that are currently in north Yorkshire.