SKIPPER Chris Smith has welcomed York City’s newest pro, Tom Allan, into the first-team squad.

The teenager, in the second year of his scholarship, signed a professional contract last week and made the trip to Plymouth with the first team on Saturday.

Smith has been impressed with the 6ft 4in tall defender – on and off the pitch.

Smith shares manager Gary Mills’ opinion that the Minstermen could have a talented prospect on their hands, saying: “He’s a good, young lad who has matured so much over the last year and must have worked hard over the summer.

“He’s still got more growing to do and will fill out a bit more on the weights. Last year, he was a left-back and was a bit tentative when he had the ball but he’s come back as a left-sided centre-half and the best thing he can do is train with us and learn from the defenders we have at the club.

“York needs good young players to come through and, if he’s good enough, the gaffer will have no qualms about playing him. Then, he either kicks on with York or gets a move.

“I’ve not seen him in many games but, in training, I think he has all the attributes to become a very good centre-half. He has a good attitude and that’s important because it’s not all about what you can do as a player.

“He’s a good lad off the pitch. I saw Dean Saunders saying on Football Focus that he values character over talent when he’s picking a team.

“He believes the importance of character is massive and Tom has good character.”

York-born Allan was subjected to the usual initiation rituals during the weekend trip to Plymouth, including singing Katie Perry and Pixie Lott songs in front of his team-mates, as well as coffee and tea-making duties on the coach.