YORK City chairman Jason McGill has revealed that talks with transfer targets for the 2014/15 season are “already well advanced”.
The Minstermen’s Sky Bet League Two play-off bid ended on Friday night when, despite holding Fleetwood to a 0-0 draw on the Lancashire coast, Nigel Worthington’s men lost the semi-final tie 1-0 on aggregate.
But, even prior to that season-ending evening, McGill and Worthington had been working busily to persuade new signings to ply their trade at Bootham Crescent for the next campaign.
On that process, McGill said: “We have identified new recruits for next season and negotiations are already well advanced with a number of players. Since last summer, the season has been all-consuming and I could do with a break but we will regroup and look forward to pre-season and then the start of a new campaign.”
The Malton-based businessman declared his pride at the efforts of everybody at the club during a season in which the team secured a top-seven place despite lying third-bottom in the table on New Year’s Day.
He also went on to reason that the achievements during the second half of the campaign can provide a great launching pad for the next 12 months.
He added: “I was obviously disappointed on Friday night but I was very, very proud of the players, Nigel, the management staff and the supporters. An FA representative said to me after the game that our supporters are a credit to us, which is great to hear.
“The performance was brilliant and epitomised what York City are all about. We never give up and keep going and going.
“We just missed that little bit of a difference up front to put the ball into the net but, with that performance and this team, everything bodes well for next season. We will be bringing people in to make us stronger but we have a fantastic basis to launch a great season next season.
“We have over-achieved beyond our expectations at the start of the season and anything was going to be a bonus from the play-offs but, I repeat, I am a very proud chairman.”
Worthington, meanwhile, has been hailed for working within a budget much smaller than that of semi-final victors Fleetwood and still having change to spare at the end of the season.
The likes of Keith Lowe, Russell Penn and John McCombe were all recruited during the campaign after falling out of favour at rival clubs, while on-loan keeper Nick Pope proved an inspired acquisition from Charlton.
“Some of the budget was left and he did a fantastic job,” McGill revealed. “He is very astute and some of the loan signings he made certainly added value to the squad.
“I think the work that was done in December to identify players and then bring them in during January was critical to what happened thereafter.
"We weren’t a bad team at the start of the season but we had quite a lot of draws and it was about converting them into wins and becoming a bit more solid at the back, which the recruits helped make happen.
“Nigel is brilliant for me to work with and very calming, win, lose or draw. He puts everyone at ease and stresses that we’ll be okay.
“He chips away bit by bit – that’s a favourite phrase of his. He’s also added something different to York City – a professionalism and stability, so that’s all positive for next season.”
Following the eight-year scrap to escape non-League football, McGill also admitted he is now able to enjoy ownership of the Minstermen a little more but vowed to protect the club’s future with sensible management.
“Our time in the Conference was almost gut-wrenching from my perspective because there was an expectation to get out of it due to the history, tradition and supporter base,” he confessed. “Being in the Football League again has brought a different feeling of excitement but we want to do well.
“We are all ambitious. I am and the rest of the board are too, but we are going to do things the proper way.
“We won’t put the club in financial jeopardy. We are all about team spirit and players who will help each other out.
“We are all in this together. It’s not about individuals and that is something else Nigel has brought to the club.”