MICHAEL Rankine turned down an opportunity to play in Australia and to stay in the National League before joining York City for a third time.

The 32-year-old forward has put pen to paper, along with out-of-contract pair Hamza Bencherif and Adriano Moke at Bootham Crescent, with all three players agreeing one-year terms.

Rankine first signed for the Minstermen in 2009 when then boss Martin Foyle paired him with 37-goal marksman Richard Brodie in a partnership that helped shoot the club to that season’s Conference play-off final.

After playing for Foyle’s successor Mills, Rankine left for Aldershot in the summer of 2011, but briefly returned on loan from the Hampshire club four years ago, during the final weeks of the latter’s first managerial stint at City.

Rankine played for Guiseley, who stayed up at the Minstermen’s expense, last term.

But, following other spells with Alfreton and Gateshead, this stint will be Rankine’s fifth playing for Mills and he revealed: “I turned down a new contract at Guiseley and also had the opportunity to go and play in Australia.

“I just think, sometimes, it’s a case of better the devil you know. The gaffer has been good to me and I want to repay the favour, because I like working underneath him.

“I have an understanding with him. He knows how to get the best out of me, as does Cask (City football consultant Darren Caskey), who’s a good guy as well.

“I feel like I’ve come home. I have a lot of love for this club, as I’ve made clear numerous times and I’m excited for the new season.”