DONE and dusted – York City finally got their man as the £55,000 signing of Michael Gash was confirmed after last night’s 2-0 friendly win at home to Hartlepool United.
The 22-year-old Gash travelled to York for a medical and to agree personal terms. He was at Bootham Crescent for the game, settled by second-half strikes from Levi Mackin and Jimmy Jackson, but the move was not sealed until after kick-off because a vote of Ebbsfleet’s cyberspace owners, MyFootball Club, was not concluded until late on.
And in a further boost rugged defender Djoumin Sangare has also agreed the contract offered by the Minstermen.
However, the capture of Gash, favoured by a 94 per cent vote by the Ebbsfleet electronic following, brought to an end one of the longest pursuits of a player in the Minstermen’s recent history.
City boss Martin Foyle was thrilled the chase spanning more than six weeks was now over and that the former Ebbsfleet United marksman could start his link-up with City in the countdown to the Blue Square Premier kick-off at Oxford United a fortnight today.
Said a relieved Foyle: “It’s been a saga, a real saga. It’s been one of the longest transfers I have ever been involved in and likely to be.
“But it’s done now we have got Michael here and I am so pleased because I really rate the lad.
“His hold-up play is excellent, he’s the right age and the most important thing is he wants to play for York City.”
The pursuit of front-man Gash has proved one of the most arduous deals to seal for the Minstermen.
It was back in June that it was first revealed City had tabled an £80,000 bid for Gash, defender Darius Charles and midfielder Neil Barrett.
Only Barrett arrived after the joint cash offer for Gash and Charles stalled when centre-back Charles announced at the 11th hour he did not want to move north.
Foyle though was determined to revive a deal for Gash, whom he views as the final jigsaw to complete City’s attacking armoury for the new campaign.
An offer of £55,000 – some £30,000 up front followed by a second payment of £25,000 due on New Year’s Day, 2010 – was resubmitted to Ebbsfleet and finally sanctioned by an overwhelming vote on the internet by the Kent club’s fans.
However, those barriers have now been cleared for Gash to become City’s first big money signing since the capture of Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Alan Fettis.
While money has not changed hands for defender Sangare, City boss Foyle was also delighted at getting the defender to sign terms.
“He’s another one for the future. He’s got a lot of strength and that’s going to be important once we get the new season underway.”
Of last night’s win, Foyle reckoned that while the second-half was a huge improvement, he rated his side’s overall performance as worth six or seven out of ten.
“We started a bit slow and we can’t afford to do that when the season starts. There were some good things about the second half especially but we can, and we must do better.”