TOM PLATT is in line to kick off the new season in York City's midfield unless Luke Summerfield shakes off a knee injury.
The 20-year-old, former youth-team captain has started each of the last two friendlies alongside skipper Russell Penn in the City engine room - a role he is likely to be handed again for tomorrow's final warm-up match at home to Sheffield United, kick-off 1pm.
Platt netted in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest and has recently jumped ahead of the more-experienced Lewis Montrose in the contest for a midfield starting berth.
Having emerged under City chief Nigel Worthington during the run-in to the end of the 2012/13 campaign, when he played an important role in preserving the club's Football League status, Platt was rewarded with a new two-year deal.
But, after kicking off the first seven games of last term, he fell out of favour and, following a 3-1 victory over Dagenham on January 4, he only made five more outings for the Minstermen - all from the bench and amounting to just seven minutes.
Due to question marks over Summerfield's fitness, however, Platt could be required for the new SkyBet League Two season's curtain-raiser at Tranmere a week tomorrow, having caught Worthington's eye in pre-season.
The Bootham Crescent boss said: "At the moment, Platty's showing the form he displayed during those six-and-a-half games he had at the tail-end of the season when he made his debut. He's playing with no fear and doing things simple.
"He's been effective and has struck up a little bit of a relationship with Russ Penn in there. He's a young player who I would love to see come through and make it because he's got a great attitude and he's a great kid.
"He's also local and I think it's important to say that because it means he has a feeling for the club and the city and it's very, very important the club produces it's own players."
With only one goal scored from the centre of midfield during the whole of last season. Worthington was also pleased to see Platt's name on the scoresheet against Forest.
Despite being prolific during loan spells with Harrogate Town as a teenager, Platt is yet to register a goal for City in 30 competitive senior outings and Worthington is hoping Wednesday's strike can lead to further efforts once the campaign kicks off for real.
The City chief added: "He's fed up of me harping on at him to put the ball in the net. I joked with him the other night that somebody told me 15 months ago Tom Platt could score goals and now I believe them.
"But he will keep going and that's what the game's about. No matter how many knocks you get, you have to pick yourself up and get on with it."
Worthington has settled on most places in his first XI for Prenton Park on August 9 but suggested that nothing was set in stone as yet, reasoning: "We have got a good idea of what we are looking at but, with another game to play, the door is still open for everybody and it's all to play for.
"It was still rehearsal time against Nottingham Forest but, now, we are really looking down the barrel at Tranmere and are looking to step things up. You get to a stage when you have had enough of pre-season and just want to get on with it and we are just about there."
The Blades were playing host to Turkish champions Fenerbahce last night prior to making the short trip to Bootham Crescent tomorrow.
Nigel Clough's men's previous pre-season results have seen them beaten by Burton (4-0) and Huddersfield (1-0), while sharing the spoils with Northampton (1-1) and defeating Dundee (4-2).
The Bramall Lane outfit, who complete their pre-season programme at Harrogate on Tuesday night, have two former internationals on their books in Republic of Ireland midfielder Michael Doyle and Jamaican winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who is one of seven summer signings.
Campbell-Ryce was recruited from Notts County with Harrison McGahey (Blackpool), Craig Alcock (Peterborough), Chris Basham (Blackpool), Andy Butler (Walsall), Marc McNulty (Livingston) and James Wallace (Tranmere) the other new arrivals.
Elsewhere, City's opening day hosts Tranmere have signed versatile defender Danny Woodards on a six-month deal following his release by Bristol Rovers.
Dagenham, meanwhile, have brought in Walsall winger Ashley Hemmings and Rotherham pair Danny Rowe and Nicky Walker have joined Wycombe on loan.