ANTHONY Straker believes York City can weigh in with goals from set-pieces next season.
The summer signing delivered the corner that enabled fellow new boy Dave Winfield to open his Minstermen account with a firm header during Tuesday’s 4-0 friendly win at Raith Rovers.
In total, Winfield (11), John McCombe (23) and Keith Lowe (19) have more than 53 career goals between themselves from centre back and Straker reckons the trio offer a towering threat from dead-ball situations.
Straker and Luke Summerfield, another close-season recruit, have both provided excellent set-play service, meanwhile, during City’s opening two pre-season fixtures and the former feels their efforts will be rewarded once the campaign kicks off for real on August 9.
He said: “We have got boys who are willing runners who want to get on the end of the ball so, once you know you have those people in the box, you know it can only help to get the ball in the net.”
Straker is also hoping to contribute in front of the goal, himself, after getting off the mark for the Minstermen at Raith with the game’s third goal.
The 25-year-old winger’s professional tally stands at a modest 13 but he is planning to at least match his best haul for a season of six, set last term for Southend.
He added: “Hopefully, I can get a goal here and there. The more I can get the merrier because every goal I get helps the club.
“I would like to match what I got last season and maybe get a few more.”
The Ealing-born midfielder reckons, too, that his partnership with fellow Londoner – full-back Femi Ilesanmi – has strong potential with the duo lining up on the left flank together during both of City’s opening two pre-season tests.
“I feel we are doing well at the minute and can only get better because it takes time to get to know each other and what works and what doesn’t work but I think we are getting there,” the ex-Crystal Palace trainee reasoned.
Former England under-18 international Straker, who received a full call-up to the Barbados squad before being capped eight times by Grenada, was satisfied too with City’s opening game of their Scotland tour, both from a team and individual perspective.
Delivering his verdict, he said: “The boys did well. We put in a performance that was a step in the right direction in terms of fitness and showing what we are capable of doing.
“For me, I was happy to get more minutes to help my fitness in terms of being ready for the start of the season.”
Straker went on to point out that the team’s week-long stay at their Stirling training camp will greatly assist him and City’s seven other new faces in their bonding process with the rest of the squad.
“The training camp is going really well,” he revealed. “Everything the club has set up helps us do what we need to do and we are enjoying it, as well as working hard.
“To go away and come up here, without any distractions to do with your home life, is good in terms of getting to know each other on and off the pitch. It will help bring things together before the start of the season.”
Having left one beaten play-off semi-finalist in Southend for another, Straker also expects neither side to suffer a hangover during 2014/15, following their close brushes with promotion.
“Both squads are very similar,” he explained. “They have a drive to get to where they want to be, which is the league above and I think both clubs can be in and around there next season.”
Elsewhere, Morecambe have recruited utility man Alan Goodall from Fleetwood and Oxford have made their second summer signing, bringing in Scunthorpe midfielder Michael Collins.
Carlisle have completed a double swoop for Floriana keeper Dan Hanford and ex-Minsterman Danny Kearns, who has left Peterborough.
Another former Bootham Crescent player Chris Beardsley has rejoined Stevenage, who have also added Gillingham’s Charlie Lee to their squad.
Mansfield, meanwhile, have taken on AC Monza striker Fergus Bell and midfielder Mark Byrne has swapped Barnet for Newport.