RYAN Jarvis has vowed to work his 'butt off' to fight his way back into York City's first XI.
The 28-year-old striker started just one of his final 13 appearances during last season - a sequence stretching back to New Year's Day when he scored the only goal of a home victory over Morecambe.
Jarvis has also begun three of City's first four pre-season friendlies from the bench and his longest run-out has only been 59 minutes against St Johnstone last weekend.
First-year pro Cameron Murray is the only fit senior City player to have been given less game time during those quartet of contests but Jarvis remains determined to force his way into manager Nigel Worthington's plans for the SkyBet League Two curtain-raiser at Tranmere on Saturday, August 9.
The Minstermen have two more warm-up fixtures before that match - at home to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night and Sheffield United three days later - with Jarvis keen to make an impression if given an opportunity.
Summer signing Jake Hyde, Michael Coulson and the returning Wes Fletcher will also be competing for striking places during the new campaign and, reflecting on his pre-season so far, the ex-Norwich forward said: "I would have hoped to play a bit more but we've got competition and everyone's fighting for their starting place.
"Every training session and everything you do is geared towards being in that starting line-up and that will be the same for Hydey, Coulo and Wes when he's back. We are all pushing for a place and, whoever gets one, will have done their job properly but the unfortunate ones who don't make the team will still work their butts off.
"You can only pick two strikers at once - that's the way it is - but I will be working my butt off to get in the team if I'm not in it."
Since last season, frontman Ryan Bowman has moved to Torquay , following on from the release of young strikers Chris Dickinson and Shaq McDonald, but Jarvis believes City have strengthened their attacking options with the arrival of Hyde from Barnet.
He added: "Things are looking good. Jake's a great player.
"He looks like he has great ability, he's very lively and he's a good finisher because we've seen that in training. Coulo has picked up from where he left off at the end of last season when he was awesome and it will also be good to get Wes's strength and power back too."
Jarvis had netted eight times in 18 games for City by mid-November last season before injuries dogged the second half of his campaign and he is now taking measures to avoid a similar fate during 2014/15, saying: "Hopefully, I will steer clear of the injuries because they really got to me last season.
"I had a good first half of the campaign but the injuries killed my momentum a bit and I am trying to do everything I can to strengthen my ankles up."
Jarvis was a half-time replacement during Wednesday night's 2-0 defeat to Hull City and was pleased by the team's performance against their Premier League visitors.
"It was a very good workout fitness wise because we did a lot of chasing for long periods of the game when they had the ball," he reasoned. "But we also played some good football.
"The majority of our players did 90 minutes or just over an hour but they brought on fresh legs at half-time and some of their subs were better players, so I thought we did alright."
Jarvis was only denied his first goal during 17 outings, including pre-season, when Tigers defender Liam Rosenior brilliantly blocked his shot, but the Fakenham-born forward remains upbeat, saying: "It's the little things that can make a difference. I was a bit gutted he made that great clearance because it would have been my first goal in pre-season.
"Last season, I did not score in pre-season and I got off to a flyer, so it doesn't necessarily matter, but everybody wants to score whether it's in pre-season or a league game. I will just keep plugging away and working hard towards that first game of the season when it all matters."