YORK City stalwart Dan Parslow doesn’t want to end his second spell with the club at Wembley.
The 31-year-old defender, who returned to the club on loan from Cheltenham in January, will be out of contract after Sunday’s FA Trophy final against Macclesfield, but has signalled a desire to carry on playing for the Minstermen despite relegation to National League North.
Parslow is the only man to have lifted the Billy Fenton Memorial Clubman of the Year award three times.
He has also appeared in three previous Wembley contests for City, including the 2012 double-winning campaign that saw promotion secured back to the Football League.
His latest contest on the hallowed turf, meanwhile, will see him move above Happy Wanderers’ legend George Howe and up to 15th on the Minstermen’s all-time appearances list with 339 games to his name.
Another season could see him break into the top ten of that elite group and, on what the future might hold, the former Wales under-21 international said: “We’ve been working towards a big game but brief discussions have taken place and, hopefully, we can get something sorted soon.
“Everyone knows I’m settled in York and this is a fantastic club that I’ve served for nine years so, if something was put to me that suited both parties, this would be a great place to stay. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved at this club and I’m proud to be on that board with some of those fantastic servants of the club.
“It’s out of my hands whether I can get higher on that list but, if I do stay, I will continue to give my all and, hopefully, there are many more appearances to come.”
Parslow suffered the pain of relegation for the first time as a City player when a stoppage-time Guiseley equaliser condemned the club to sixth-tier football.
The squad were given a ten-day break afterwards and the former Cardiff trainee believes that period has helped heal some wounds, reasoning: “We were all in a state of shock after the Forest Green game coming to terms with what had actually happened to this football club, so it was a chance to go away and reflect.
“Then, when we came back, the message from the gaffer was there’s no point moping or sulking, because what is done is done. We can’t change that now, so let’s go and win a cup final.”
Before 2012, Parslow was a member of the side that lost 2-0 to Stevenage in the Trophy final three years earlier and, having experienced defeat under the famous arch, knows the difference between walking up those 107 steps as a winner and loser.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to play at Wembley, but it’s not half as enjoyable if you don’t go up to claim your winners’ medal and that’s the aim,” he declared. “It’s what we’ve been discussing since coming back to work and we know we’ve got to be at our best to beat a good Macclesfield team.
“They like to pass the ball and play good football, but we dealt with their threats very well on that Tuesday night when we win at their place 3-1 and, if we all do our jobs and play as we can do, it will be a good day for us.”
Having experienced both scenarios, Parslow also feels the tension of a Trophy final is lesser that that surrounding its play-off equivalent, pointing out: “I think the pressure with what’s at stake in the play-off final with the magnitude of getting into the Football League can have an effect on performance.
“Obviously, we want to go and win the trophy, but you feel you can express yourself and really enjoy the occasion for what it is and put on a good performance for the travelling fans and the support has been fantastic since I returned in January.
“The fans have come out in their numbers home and away despite having had a tough couple of years and to take 7,000 down all that way, coming off the back of the season we have had, is an achievement in itself.”
With next season in mind, Parslow went on to stress the importance of retaining Gary Mills’ services as manager, adding: “Obviously, there was some uncertainty after relegation, but I think it was important to get stability and the gaffer staying was the first vital step towards that. “Hopefully, he can now get the players he wants to challenge in National League North. That won’t be easy with Stockport being stuck there for a fifth year and the likes of Salford bringing in Gateshead and Barrow’s captains.
“Kiddy will also be strong but, if the core of our squad stays, we will have a fighting chance of getting straight back up.”