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York City: Reserve and junior sides

York City have a long history of reserve team football, at one stage fielding 2 reserve sides. Since the 1960s, City have had a youth policy which has regularly seen youngsters (our first ever apprentice professional was Chris Topping) progressing through the ranks and into the first team

Since formation, City have generally fielded a reserve side, some seasons, even 2 sides. In 1968, City first fielded a youth team. Whilst the overarching aim of both reserve and youth football is to provide players for the first team, in recent years, selling young players has contributed to City's very survival. Disappointingly, few have prospered in the first team in recent years.

At times, especially in the early years, the teams were supplemented with local, non contracted, players, at both reserve and youth level to make up numbers. Given this, it has sometimes been difficult for teams to gell, sometimes they only meeting in the dressing room before matches. Indeed, between scoring hat tricks for the intermediates in 1987, Iain Dunn missed other games due to "local commitments".

York City's Reserve Side - The History

The current York City Football Club was founded in April 1922 and entered a side in the Midland League in the 1922/3 season. The following season, a reserve side was formed and they played in The Yorkshire League as well as competing in local competitions. In 1931, the reserves moved to The Midland League, it was a wider geographical spread and included games against reserve sides of more league clubs. For the 1934/5 season, for financial reasons, the reserves reverted to The Yorkshire League where they remained until re-joining The Midland League in 1947. There is also evidence of an earlier York City reserve side joining The Yorkshire Combination League in 1912/3.

In 1938, as the first team reached Round 6 of the FA Cup, the reserves lifted the Yorkshire League Championship, eclipsing 1931 and 1937 when they were runners up (1937 on goal average).

With regional football ending in 1958, reserve team football also underwent a re-vamp. City’s reserves entered the new North Regional League. It was essentially reserve team football for the lower league clubs whilst the north’s bigger clubs’ reserve sides entered The Central League. City remained here until 1966 when reverting to the Yorkshire League (Division 2), gaining promotion in the first season, followed by immediate relegation in the next season (1967/8). In summer 1968, the reserve side was scrapped and an intermediate (Youth, under 18) side entered the Northern Intermediate League. In 1969, the reserve side was re-instated, meaning for the first time since 1955 did City field 3 teams.

In August 1984, City joined the Central League, completing in Division 2. At the time it covered the north of England and was the highest level of reserve team football. Later, the side was to enjoy one season in the top flight. The Southern Combination was the equivalent league in the south.

In 2009, Martin Foyle disbanded City's reserve team due to financial constraints during the first non league era. It was not re-instated until 2016 under Jackie McNamara.

York City's Reserve Side - Season By Season

Season

Notes

1922/3

No reserve side

1923-31

Yorkshire League. Some fixtures were not played, for example, in the 1927/8 season, both games against Methley Perseverance were postponed and not re-scheduled. In 1930/1, City finished runners up.

1931-33

Midland League. Resign due to high travelling costs

1933-39

Yorkshire League
1938 Yorkshire League champions

1945/6

Resume in Yorkshire League

1946/7

Win Yorkshire League's League Cup with a 4-0 win over Leeds United "A" at Boothferry Park (Hull).

1947/8

Revert to Midland League

1948/9

Top 6 in Midland League, scoring over 100 goals
Win NRSC for the first time, beating Middlesbrough3-0 at Ayresome Park (07/Apr/50).

1950/1

First time a 3rd team entered in Yorkshire League.
For one season only before 3rd team disbanded

1951/2

1952/3

1953/4

1954/5

Midland League.
24 teams, fairly equal mix of FL and non league sides covering Wisbech, Kings Lynn and Corby to Scarborough and including Notts F and Hull.
Finish lower mid table with Bainbridge as top scorer.

1955/6

Midland League. 24 teams
YCFC finish in Top 6
“A” team return to Yorkshire League, 16 teams, YC as only league team, winning promotion to Division 1 at the first attempt
City regularly fielded 3 teams every Saturday

1956/7

Reserves finish in Top 5
3rd team relegated

1957/8

ML – 24 teams – “well placed” in upper mid table
Robertson top score
YL Division 2 – 14 team, Leeds, YC and 12 NL – mid table
GR Powell top score

1958/9

North Regional League - 20 teams (FL reserve sides Workington, Carlisle, Port Vale, Gateshead, Grimsby, Sunderland, Middlesbrough) – Upper mid table
YL YC Only league club - struggle

1959/60

NRL 22 teams Upper mid table
Hill top scorer, Barrie Tait 2nd top scorer (24 goals). Barrie Tait remembered
Yorkshire League - Walker and Franks leading scorers – mid table

1960/1

NRL 21 (Gateshead dropped out) – Bottom 6 all season. Tait top score
YL – Lower mid table
Thomas and Batty leading scorers

1961/2

1962/3

North Regional League – 17 teams, FL reserve teams.
Season long race with Doncaster to win bottom place, goals shared amongst over 20 players, no stand out scorer
Yorkshire League – 15 teams, YCFC – only FL team Turner top score, struggle in bottom 4

1963/4

North Regional League – 17 teams, FL reserve teams. Another season of struggles
No 3rd team

1964/5

North Regional League.
21 teams
Struggle in bottom 4 all seasons.
Ian Burden top score

1965/6

North Regional League. Leave at end of season.
Bottom 4 all season
Ken Morton top score

1966/7

Yorkshire League (Division 2). 16 team Yorkshire based league, including Bradford City, Doncaster Rovers and other traditional non league teams.
Promoted.
Enter Bootham United in the York Sunday League. Under the guidance of Ron Spence, the young side won promotion in their first (and only) season.

1967/8

Yorkshire League (Division 1). 17 team Yorkshire based league, with City as the only FL club.
Finish 12th

1968/9

Intention was to enter the North Midlands League
Ended up with no 2nd team

1969/70

Enter North Midlands League
15 team league with Middlesbrough, Hull and Division 3 / 4 teams from around Yorkshire and its fringes
Finish upper mid table
Kevin McMahon was top scorer (he was also joint City top scorer in D4

1970/1

NML
15 teams
Mid table with David Jones was top scorer

1971/2

NML
15 teams
Struggling season (7+ wins)
Rowles and de Placido were top scorers

1972/3

NML
15 teams
Mid table finish
Billy Yeats and Mike de Placido were top scorers

1973/4

NML
15 teams
Lower mid table
Goals shared around

1974/5

NML
15 teams
5th
Jim Hinch and Buttle top score

1975/6

NML
13 teams (Bradford C and Lincoln dropped out)
2nd
Hinch top score

1976/7

NML
details unknown

1977/8

NML
details unknown

1978/9

NML
details unknown

1979/80

NML / Details unknown
Reserve game team sheet: Taylor- decent Huddersfield loanee; Leaf / Dawson / Harrison / Kamara, all youth products who played for the first team (Leaf was the subject of a “Question Of Sport” question, something to do with naming parts of a plant) and Kamara got an absolute on pitch rollicking from Peter Lormier when he didn’t pass to him in a first team game). Simon Lowe, City youngster, never played for our first team but played around the lower Football League for about 10 years; Loggie – £20k signing from Burnley, never lived up to his reputation but later scored a lot of goals in Holland / Belgium; Stronach, ex Sunderland and England Schoolboy captain, never lived up to his reputation. Walsh - regular first teamer for about 3 seasons. Paul Neal recalls, "I never made the first team squad, we had a massive squad in those days. Full reserve team league & intermediate league as well. I was in competition with Steve Senior who obviously went on to play quite a few games. Charlie Wright signed me but got sacked into my second year, Barry Lyons took over and I knew I was history". Tony Robb – striker, younger brother of Ian Robb. John Byrne – no introduction necessary. For County, Lloyd Richards later played for City and Jeff Blockley was an England international.

1980/1

NML
details unknown

1981/2

NML
13 teams
details unknown

1982/3

NML
5 (five teams), details unknown.
Last season, reduced numbers as teams move to Central League

1983/4

No reserve league, just friendlies as NML folded (see above)

1984/5

Central League (Division 2) - 18 teams, including Leeds, Middlesbrough, Leicester and other lower FL teams
start with 4-0 win over Blackpool
Finish lower mid table

1985/6

Central League (Division 2) - 18 teams
Upper mid table finish (having topped the table for several weeks in autumn)

1986/7

Central League (Division 2) - Originally 18 teams (but Wolves withdraw)
Finish mid table (W 10; D9; L13)

1987/8

Central League (Division 2) - 18 teams
Bottom 4 finish

1988/9

Central League (Division 2) - 18 teams
Mid table finish

1989/90

1990/1

1991/2

1992/3

Reserves promoted to Pontins Division 1. Finish 4th with 59 points (P34 W17 D8 L9), over 20 points behind Derby. 2nd Everton, 3rd Coventry

1993/4

Reserves relegated from Pontins Division One. Win just 6 games in 34 matches but the reserve sides of Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle visited Bootham Crescent.

1994/5

1995/6

City in 2nd division of 3.

1996/7

Pontins League revamped with 4 divisions (Premier, D1,D2, D3), re-organisation sees City drop into Tier 3 (13 teams in the division). Upper mid table finish in Pontins Division 2 (3rd tier) after leading the table after 11 games

1997/8

Mid table (7th out of 13) in D2 (Tier 3)

1998/9

Mid table

1999/2000

2000/1

2001/2

2002/3

2003/4

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

2007/8

2008/9

Last season of reserve team football. The season included a game against a strong Leeds side. Subsequently, Leeds were to use Bootham Crescent for home games until problems with the waterlogged pitch.

2009/10

2010/1

2011/2

2012/3

2013/4

2014/5

2015/6

2016/7

Reserve team reformed

2017/8

2018/9

Withdraw from reserve team league football, youth set up re-constituted as U19 (was U18)

York City's Youth Side

Despite not being considered a "hotbed" of football, as long as there has been a York City, there has been a string of local youngsters who have made the grade at Football League level, many making their debut with York City before going onto enjoy successful football careers. Indeed, of the 5 players who have made the most appearances for City, 3 (Barry Jackson, Chris Topping and Gary Ford) are locally born, whilst the other 2 both made their Football League debuts for City. Equally, home grown players have provided a rich source of transfer income for City, in the club's history, well over half of all City's transfer income has been from selling home grown youngsters.

Whilst young players had always progressed to the first team, it was 1968 when a scheme for apprentice professionals first appeared. City formed an Under 18 side and entered The Northern Intermediate League. City struck lucky as Chris Topping was City’s first apprentice professional. He was soon in the first team and was scouted by several clubs including Arsenal who sent their scout George Male to watch him as they sought a replacement for Ian Ure as they built what was to be their 1971 double winning side.

Over the years, the youth system produced a number of players who went onto be prominent first team players, including Brian Pollard, Cliff Calvert and John Byrne in the first 10 years.

John Byrne recalled playing park football in Manchester when a local taxi driver, Mike Walker, a friend of Wilf McGuinness, approached him and offered him a route into professional football. A trial at Bolton went nowhere, but after playing games for City's boys at the age of 14 and 15, he signed schoolboy forms in February 1976, the very day that City lost 7-2 at Brighton. In those days he was known as "bottle of milk" due to his pale complexion and slim line physique.

After a fallow period, the 1990s, under Ricky Sbragia, were a golden period. Graeme Murty, Jon Greening and Richard Cresswell who graduated and earned City massive transfer fees. Subsequently, another fallow period followed. For many years, the youth set up has relied on unsung (and often unpaid) volunteers working under the youth manager. After his retirement through injury, Ricky Sbragia has probably enjoyed most success as our Youth Team Manager. His side reached the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup in 1993. He subsequently took up a similar role at Sunderland before progressing to manager. Later, he enjoyed 2 spells with Manchester United as reserve and Under 23 team manager.

One trait of City's youth set up has been fielding a side at the bottom of the age range, often one or 2 years younger than their opponents, the idea being to develop players against older opposition in readiness for progression to the professional ranks.

The Northern Intermediate League was based around Yorkshire, North East and Humberside clubs, its origins can be dated back to as early as 1947/8. Strangely, a Wolverhampton Wanderers side, based in Wath competed in the league (and Sheffield Amateur League) in the mid 1950s, presumably in an effort to tap into a wider talent pool.

Prior to this, talented local youngsters had progressed through local non league football before joining York City. The 1950s was a golden era with the likes of Colin Addison, Mick Granger, David Dunmore and Barry Jackson all signing for City from local amateur football. Of the local clubs, Cliftonville were at the forefront and provided a number of talented youngsters.

Born within 2 months of each other in 1954, Brian Pollard, Mike de Placido and Cliff Calvert all played for England Youth and progressed through City’s youth intermediate side before making their City debuts. Pollard and de Placido on Good Friday 1972. Calvert followed soon after. Pollard and Calvert made names for themselves with City before enjoying top flight careers at Watford and Sheffield United respectively. Both earned City £30,000+ fees when they left us.

It wasn’t until 10 years later that home grown youth players made a real impression on City's first team when John Byrne and Gary Ford were key players in City’s 1984 Division 4 Championship winning team. City had to wait another 10 years for the next wave of youth, Graeme Murty, Richard Cresswell and Jon Greening. They netted a near £3m in transfer fees.

Subsequently, there has been a relative dearth of talent rising from the youth ranks to first team. Adam Boyes was the only junior City sold for money during the 2004-12 non league years. However, it must be noted that 2 youth graduates, David Stockdale and Byron Webster were released by City after short first team careers but have gone onto enjoy considerable success at clubs playing in leagues above City.

Equally, youngster Jamie Hopcutt was released by Gary Mills in 2010 after graduating through the youth ranks and signing a professional contract. Within months, with no reserve side, he was released. Subsequently he has enjoyed a successful career in Sweden with Ostersunds.

Between 1992 (after the completion of the Shipton Street Roof Appeal) and 2006, the Youth Development Fund (see below) supported City’s junior sides and junior supporters, raising over £170,000 before it was wound up. Additionally, for many years, City's promising youngsters have been expected to contribute financially to their time with the club, in such ways as paying their own travel expenses, matchday expenses and general fundraising.

In November 1998, at a fans' forum, Keith Usher had noted the difficulties a club like City had holding onto their youth talent. In 1994, 14 year old Curtis Woodhouse moved to Sheffield United for a £2,000 compensation fee. His next move was to Birmingham for £1,000,000 (City got a £60,000 cut). Usher noted City had lost 6 other youth players including 2 who went to Nottingham Forest with City receiving just £7,000 in compensation.

Subsequently, City profitted from the sales of Tom Allan, Ben Godfrey, Sam Fielding, Ryan Edmondson and Gabby McGill. An initial £200,000 fee was quoted for Ben Godfrey. It and subsequent sales appear to have been heavily weighted towards lucrative additional payment clauses as the players progress in the game. Earlier, in June 2016, City netted £40,000 in compensation when Under 14 striker Cole Kiernan moved to Sunderland. By 2018, 2 years after our relegation from The Football League, EPPP funding (worth £260,000 a year if City committed £130,000) and protection dried up, meaning any player under 17 could move on without City receiving any compensation. Vinnie Steels, in August 2018, being the first high profile example when he moved to Premier League Burnley.

As the realities on National League North football took hold, for 2018/9, the youth set up was revamped. City dropped out of the EPPP programme and re-grouped (losing about £260,000 a year in funding). The youth set up moved to an Under 19 format, effectively giving first year professionals an extra season of football to bridge the gap between men and boys football.

For many years, City's young scholars have had to part fund their own participation in City's academy by various means. Parents often contributed directly or by arranging / supporting fund raising initiatives. It was reported in The Press that all parents of scholars were asked to try to raise £600 in sponsorship money during the 2018/19 campaign.

Even so, City's Academy continued to run sides from Under 19 to down to Under 9 level, albeit one rather than 2 coaches per age group, but involving 140 players. A professional ethos was maintained and new links built. In late 2019, links with York St John University were strengthened, links established with Yorkshire Academy Sport and arrangements made with the Supersonic Fitness gym in the city centre giving the Academy access to additional facilities and learning opportunities. In February 2020, coach Andy Snell noted how City's Under 19 captain, Archie Whitfield was coaching the Academy's Under 13 side and other of his teammates were doing coaching and refereeing badges. He also recalled Ben Godfrey's return to City's Academy at Under 15 level, sending him on as a sub for his debut and then taking him off 10 minutes later due to an ineffective start. Andy stated his aim was to improve the ratio of youngsters making it as a professional (currently he'd expect only 2 or 3 of the 140 to make the grade) and was recently delighted when Charlie Binns, ex City youth player, now a nutritionist at Birmingham University was put forward by them to do a lecture at City's Academy without the university realising he was an ex City player.

In total, youth player sales have netted City over £7.3m (as opposed to just £3.5m from all other sales). Just some of the players who have progressed through City's youth ranks and been sold on for a transfer fee include Ben Godfrey, Brian Pollard, Byron Webster, Cameron Stuart, Chris Hogg, Chris Topping, Cliff Calvert, Curtis Woodhouse, Darren Williams, Gabby McGill, Gary Ford, Graeme Murty, John Byrne, Jon Greening, Kiernan Cole, Lee Bullock, Lee Grant, Marco Gabbiadini, Nick Culkin, Ricardo Gabbiadini, Richard Cresswell, Russ Howarth, Ryan Edmondson, Sam Fielding, Scott Allison, Steve Bushell, Steve Senior and Tom Allen. But don’t forget there were others, released by City, who enjoyed successful careers,including Andy Warrington, David Stockdale, Gary Himsworth, Glenn Naylor, Iain Dunn, Jamie Hopcutt, Joe Neenan, Michael Duckworth and Paul Robinson (England keeper).

Footnote (1): One friend recalls he was training 2 nights a week with City as a young teenager in the early 1970s. It was a regular occurrence to see the coach call a player aside, take him into the dressing rooms, never to be seen again. My friend was hooked one evening as training finished and told his City career was over.

Footnote (2): In November 2019, on his England Under 21 call up, Ben Godfrey noted on Thefa.com, “I’m so glad I did it the way I have, it’s been an amazing journey. I wasn’t wrapped up in cotton wool, so it was a steep learning curve and I wouldn’t change my route at all. I didn’t have the academy upbringing that many did, but I also learnt things it would be impossible for them to do by getting the exposure to men’s football that I did at such a young age. You know that if you’re making mistakes, it can affect everyone in the dressing room so I saw how much it meant to the players and there’s one moment I can specifically remember. “We were in a relegation battle and we were away at Accrington Stanley on the back of a poor run of results and were in a bit of a trouble. There was talk of players possibly taking pay cuts and things like that, so it was really important but at the time, I was just happy to be there. “But after the game, and in the tiniest changing room as anyone who’s played at Accrington will know, a little bit of a fight erupted in there between two players. To me, at 16, it was an eye opener and that was when it clicked how important each and every point was. When I first went to Norwich, it was weird because in terms of experiences, I’d had much more than the other players at the time. In terms of technical ability, I was probably quite a bit behind because that wasn’t what we practised at the level I’d come from. So I was at a different stage mentally, and technically, to the other boys but I saw that I needed to work on my technical ability and catch up. But the other lads couldn’t go back and get that experience which I’d had at 16 and 17. They had to learn and experience all of those things that I did four years before them”.

2020: What's Next?

Since 2004 (and our first relegation from The Football League), just 6 home grown youngsters have graduated to play 30 or more first team games for City. Step forward Tom Platt, Andy McWilliams, Adam Boyes, Lev Yalcin, Bryan Stewart and Graeme Law. Unfortunately, to many eyes, not the calibre of player required for a successful City side.

The likes of Ben Godfrey, David Stockdale, Tom Allan, Nathan Dyer, Ryan Edmondson and Jamie Hopcutt didn’t reach 30 City appearances.

Undoubtedly, scrapping the reserve side in 2009 (it was reconstituted briefly between 2016 and 2018) means there is a missing step after youth team football, making the first team a step too far for many youngsters.

Meanwhile, since 2013, 10 youngsters (Jake Watson, Flynn McNaughton, Harry Thompson, Josh Rogerson, Nick Kennedy, Callum Rzonca, Ben Hirst, Cameron Murray, Chris Dickinson and Mike Atkinson) have graduated from our youth system to professional contracts and subsequently released. Between them, 23 first team appearances and one goal before being cast adrift. For the record, Ben Godfrey didn't sign a pro contract with City.

The other aim of a youth policy is to make money by selling players on. However, with City’s demise and the big clubs extending their tentacles, even that is by no means as lucrative as it once was. It is believed City netted initial fees of under £100,000 for each of Ryan Edmondson (Leeds) and Gabby McGill (Middlesbrough) although both left with lucrative sell on clauses in place. The hope is that City can eventually benefit from a sell on clause payment for Edmondson in the same way as we did from Ben Godfrey. McGill left Middlesbrough for a small compensation amount.

However, going forward, given our current circumstances, it is becoming increasing unlikely that City will again hit the jackpot with youngsters. Vinnie Steels being a case in point, snapped up by Burnley just short of his 17th birthday for nothing due to Football Association regulations.

York City's Youth Side - Season By Season

Season

Notes

1968/9

June 5,1968, City are elected to the Northern Intermediate League (and drawn at home to Leeds in the NIL Cup).
NIL was an 18 team league including the big 3 from the north east, Leeds and most of the other senior Yorkshire teams plus Grimsby, Chesterfield and Wolves (who ran a team based in Barnsley / Wath).
City finished 11th with home games at Bootham Crescent, usually on a on a Saturday afternoon and occassionally midweek under lights.
City's team formed and played their first game at Upton (March 68) with later games at Driffield (April 24) and Scarborough Juniors before the end of the 1967/8 season.
3 players (Chris Topping, Chris Dale and John Andrews) also played in the first team during the 68/9 season.
McKenna top scored

1969/70

NIL The same 18 teams
From 4 Oct 69 home games now played at Boroughbridge Road (Saturday 11:00 kick off)
McKenna top scorer again
Brian Pollard got on the score sheet for the first time.
City finish bottom

1970/1

15 teams (Wolves, Grimsby, Bradford PA) drop out
Young side struggle all season with Bobby Tasker finishing as top scorer with 12.
Cliff Calvert got on the score sheet for this first time.

1971/2

16 teams (Grimsby re-enter)
(5+) wins
Pollard (top scorer in season he made his first team debut)

1972/3

16 teams
Lower mid table finish.
Goals very evenly spread with main contributions by Pollard, Evans, de Placido, Tasker and Hunter

1973/4

17 teams (Lincoln added)
Lower mid table
David Fenton (son of Billy) top score
740822 Ian Robb, Gordon Hunter & Bobby Hosker selected for The Rest to play the Sunderland, the champions

1974/5

17 teams
16th
Local lads David Fenton and Colin Teare top scored

1975/6

16 teams (Bradford C dropped out)
Matches at York University Sports Ground
Bottom quarter finish
Colin Teare top score

1976/7

NIL
details unknown

1977/8

NIL
details unknown

1978/9

NIL

1979/80

NIL. Plus Colts tam in York and district league
Play Middlesbrough in 2 legged NIL Cup Final, result not mentioned assume lost

1980/1

NIL
details unknown

1981/2

NIL
details unknown

1982/3

NIL
Mick Astbury was the only pro, the rest were local amateurs
Lost 2-0 to Sunderland in Round 2 of The FA Youth Cup
Neil Smallwood, Nick Murphy and Andy Pybus attended England Under trials in February 1983 at the request of Bobby Robson
First appearances of Alan Pearce and Martin Butler

1983/4

NIL
Lower mid table in 15 team league
Beat Rochdale and Billingham in FA Youth Cup before losing 2-0 v Liverpool in Round 3
Lose to Leeds in NIL Cup semi final
Home games at Clifton Hospital

1984/5

NIL (15 teams)

1985/6

NIL (18 teams)
Lose 1-2 to Sheffield United in Round 3 of The FA Youth Cup having beaten Oldham and Doncaster
Marco Gabbiadini top scored
Home games at York University
Lower mid table finish

1986/7

NIL (18 teams)
City link with up Sheffield Redgates who act as a south Yorkshire nursery for City
In April 1987, City offered apprenticeships to Ashley Ward (the striker who later played in the top flight for Norwich, Derby, Barnsley, Blackburn and Bradford City) and Adrian Boothroyd (who went onto enjoy a lower league playing career and more high profile managerial success)
City include Warren McMillan, brother of Andy as a trialist
Struggle near foot of table all season

1987/8

NIL (18 teams)
Youth scouting system extended to cover the Manchester area with the formation of the York City Youth Federation in summer 1988 resulting in an increased number of associated schoolboys joining from the north west
Ian Dunn (2 early season hat tricks), Ricardo Gabbiadini and Alan Dean main scorers
Home games at Oaklands
Top 6 finish

1988/9

NIL (18 teams)
Home games at Oaklands
Mid table finish

1989/90

1990/1

City fielded a 3rd team, an Under 16 side in The Yorkshire Conference League under Barrie Tait. The team lasted just one season.

1991/2

1992/3

FA Youth Cup quarter finalists, City's best ever performance in the competition. Wins over Newcastle, West Bromwich Albion and Leyton Orient set up a quarter final at Old Trafford (8th March 1993) against Manchester United. The home side, boasting David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Keith Gillespie, Robbie Savage, John O'Kane and others won 5-0 in front of 4,937. United lost in the final to Leeds. Of the City team, Graeme Murty, Scott Jordan, Andy Warrington and Elliott Simpson progressed to our first team. Ricky Sbragia coached City's side. Just below midway finish in 17 team NIL

1993/4

Second in the NIL having topped the table with one game to play

1994/5

93/4 and 94/5 - successive 2nd places in Northern Intermediate League. 2nd season on goal difference, pipped by Newcastle.

1995/6

New home base at York RI's ground on New Lane

1996/7

A disappointing season

1997/8

NIL. Mid table

1998/9

City reach the last 16 (Round 5) of the FA Youth Cup with wins over Stoke (3-0 (Dibie (2) & Whitfield)) and Ipswich (City took a full size supporters' coach to the game before winning the replay (1-1, 2-0)). A near 1,000 crowd saw City draw 1-1 with West Ham in Round 5. Christian Fox scored an 86th minute equaliser with a 25 yard shot before being sent off in the last minute. From the subsequent penalty, City keeper, John Mohan, saved Michael Carrick's attempt to earn City a replay. City lost the replay 5-0 at Upton Park. West Ham fielded Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and Steve Bywaters who all enjoyed long professional careers. For City, Christian Fox and Lee Bullock enjoyed decent careers whilst Marc Thompson and James Turley played for City's first team. West Ham went on to win The FA Youth Cup that season beating Coventry 9-0 in the 2 legged final.

City's league had been renamed the North East Conference League and involved 12 teams. City achieved an upper table finish.

In May 1999, City's Inter team won a prestigious competition in Holland.

Of the 10 second year youth team apprentices, a record 5 get pro contracts (Bullock & Fox (2 years), Steve Walters & James Turley (one year) and Michael Dibie (6 months). 5 (Peter Batchelor, Thomas Dufton, Michael Farley, John Mohan and John Urwin) were released.

1999/2000

Win Football League Youth Alliance North East Conference. Successfully progress into the end of season Merit League (YEP 20000110)

2000/1

2001/2

2002/3

2003/4

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

2007/8

2008/9

2009/10

The youth team that Graham Potter coached at York went on to finish as runners-up to Hull City in the 2009/10 Football League Youth Alliance north-east table.

2010/1

2011/2

2012/3

2013/4

2014/5

Andy McMillan was appointed Academy Manager on 23 May 2014, his reign lasted for 2 seasons.

2015/6


Andy McMillan was forced to re-apply for his job, he was successful but shortly afterwards, on 15 July 2016, he resigned. He stated on York Hospital Ball, that under his tenure, the academy's EPPP rating raised from 35% (not reaching minimum Cat 4 level) to 68% (2% of short of Cat 2, a full size indoor training pitch would have tipped the balance) and City sold players for over £500,000 (Godfrey (£275,000), Edmondson (£100,000), McGill, Fielding and Kiernan) having inherited a set up which had made no sales or seen players promoted to the first team for many years. Some of the sales occurred after he'd moved on. He attributed much of the good work in developing Godfrey to Jon Greening.

2016/7

City finish in fourth place (out of 13) in the Youth Alliance League North East table. Mansfield Town clinched the title
Edmondson was top scorer

2017/8

McNaughton top scorer
McNaughton, Harry Thompson, and goalkeeper Ryan Whitley were the only second year scholars involved in the game. Midfielder Alfie Evans, only 15, came on as a substitute for City in the final 20 minutes of the game.
8/May - Final game of the season. Chesterfield settled the contest with a goal in the closing stages. C 3 YC 2
City had lost their penultimate game of the season three days earlier 3-0 against Grimsby Town.

2018/9

Move from Football League Alliance to National League U19 Alliance. City finished 2nd in section I with Ethan Henderson top scorer, Kiari Ventura a close second in goals scored.

2019/20

4th (out of 10) in the National League U19 Alliance. Top of the league at the time of coronavirus curtailment, City were placed 4th on PPG. Luke Jones was top scorer whilst team members Charlie Jebson-King and Nathan Dyer made first team appearances. Ethan Henderson made the first team bench and ex youth player Ryan Whitley also featured in the first team.

York City Youth Development Fund

Founded in 1992 by Graham Kilby, after the completion of the Shipton Street Roof Appeal, and running until 2006, it was a supporters' lead initiative to promote young players and young supporters at York City. Funds were raised to support City's young players and their coaching staff, including providing expenses (petrol money) to unpaid coaches. The revamped Junior Reds had well over 1,000 members and regularly sold out their section, one quarter, of The Main Stand.

It unexpectedly came to an end when the club decided to bring it in house. The Yorkshire Evening Press article (link above), noted, "York City's Youth Development Fund is being wound up and its cash moved directly to the football club. In 14 years of fund-raising, more than £170,000 has been raised to aid City's Centre Of Excellence and Junior Reds supporters' group. During the season which has just ended, the YDF raised £28,874 but fund founder and current treasurer Graham Kilby didn't know changes were in the pipeline. He met with club officials and parents of boys who attend the Centre of Excellence last week to discuss fund-raising for 2006-07 only to receive a letter from the club the next day informing him that the YDF accounts should be transferred then closed. The letter, from City club secretary Nick Bassett, said: "The board has decided that with immediate effect, they wish to bring the Centre Of Excellence finances directly under the club's control. We would therefore request that you transfer all funds from the current accounts to the football club at the earliest opportunity. The relevant accounts should then be closed and all future payments made to York City Football Club. "I have been asked to emphasise that this decision in no way reflects upon you personally in terms of your honesty, integrity or performance and indeed the service you have given the club over many years is greatly appreciated. It simply makes better financial sense to have all the funds in one place at the earliest opportunity." Kilby said: "The fund's appeal was that all of the people who made donations to it did so in the knowledge that the money was ring fenced for youth development expenditure only. The problem with having all of the funds in one place is that it could get used for something else. "Last season the response from parents, sponsors and supporters who adopted the role of 'Friends Of York City Youth Development' was magnificent with outstanding donations made by the York Minstermen (£4,664) and the Towton Minstermen, who have provided an average of £1,500 each year for the past ten years." Kilby said he was disappointed that no one told him of the decision face-to-face and that the letter was ill-timed because he only decided to step down from the Trust Board at the last annual general meeting so he could concentrate more of his time to the fund. "Perhaps if I had still been on the Trust Board this would not have happened," he said. Kilby thanked everyone who has helped to make the fund a success over the years. He added: "If by any small chance our donations have helped with the football development of the likes of the (Richard) Cresswell, (the likes of Nick) Culkins and (Jonathan) Greenings of this world then all of our efforts have been worthwhile"."

North Riding Senior Cup

For many years, City have fielded a side in The North Riding Senior Cup, usually a reserve side, but sometimes a full first team have has been fielded.

For details see York City in the NRSC.

International Honours

The following is a list (but not exhaustive) of City juniors who have gone onto gain international honours (excluding England C (and similar non league honours), university and independent schools). Note:

  1. The most senior level is noted, some earlier levels may not be noted
  2. The level may have been reached with, or after, City
  3. Only shows City juniors (e.g. Dean Kiely was not a City junior but gained full international honours with the Republic Of Eire, ditto Jon McCartney).
  • Mike Atkinson Belize
  • John Byrne Republic Of Eire
  • Cliff Calvert England Youth
  • Richard Cresswell England U21 (highest England honour won by a current City player)
  • Mike de Placido England Youth
  • Ryan Edmondson England U19
  • Christian Fox England U18 (called up for 3 day camp, no games)
  • Marco Gabbiadini England B / U21
  • Ben Godfrey England U21
  • Jonathan Greening England U21
  • Chris Hogg England U19 (England U16 captain)
  • Russell Howarth England U20/18/16
  • Graeme Law Scotland U19
  • Graeme Murty Scotland
  • Jack Pinder England Schoolboys (captain)
  • Brian Pollard England Youth
  • Paul Robinson England (released by City aged 16)
  • David Stockdale England (senior squad call ups, no caps)
  • Darren Williams England U21 / England B
  • Curtis Woodhouse England U21
  • Lev Yalcin Turkey U19

2016/7 Onwards

For season 2016/7 and onwards, please refer to City History and the seasonal review links for reviews of City's reserve and youth teams' seasons.

For further information on national reserve team football, please refer to FCHD, Non League Matters and Football Archives