Andy McMillan

Andy McMillan

Andy McMillan

First published in The Big Interview York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

Only Barry Jackson has clocked up more York City appearances than Andy McMillan. Now, as he enters the world of management for the first time, he tells STEVE CARROLL about his ambitions.

ANDY McMillan plans to do things differently as a boss. After 492 games spanning 12 years with his beloved Minstermen, the full-back was cast adrift within touching distance of the magic 500 mark in 1999 - never playing for City again.

Then manager Neil Thompson sidelined the fans' favourite and the decision, along with his subsequent release the following year, have had a lasting impression on the 39-year-old.

A brief spell at Ayr ended his professional playing days and, after hanging up his boots having been a stalwart at Nestlé Rowntree and Haxby United, it is at the latter club where he starts his new role as a manager.

McMillan has been appointed boss at the Leeper Hare York premier division outfit and hopes it will be the start of a successful career which will secure a stint at a league club.

And, with the bitterness following his acrimonious departure from Bootham Crescent a distant memory, he's hoping his talents as a manager might one day lead him back to the club he served diligently for more than a decade.

One thing his players can be sure of, however, is that he plans to be there for them at all times.

"I had fantastic times at City. Obviously Wembley in 1993 was the major highlight and we had some really good players. We also won at Old Trafford and beat Everton the following year," he said.

"I played nearly 500 games and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. John Ward was a breath of fresh air when he arrived and Alan Little was very unlucky in the end.

"I got the chance to sign in 1987 and every time a new contract came I was delighted to sign it. The city, the club and the structures were in place and it was a real shame the way it ended.

"It took me two or three years before I went back. It was bitterly upsetting. I had helped players to settle in, we had stability at the back and every time there were contract talks I never caused the club any problems.

"I didn't venture into the place for a while. But managing York is something I have got to strive for. Whether it happens is a different thing. A club like York City is very close to my heart and it is something I've always wanted to do.

"I have a great affinity with the club. It is my strong ambition to get there."

Alongside taking his UEFA B' coaching licence, and looking to start his A' qualifications around Christmas, McMillan has gathered a lot of experience at youth level.

After spending two or three years at York City's centre of excellence, McMillan went to the Kingston Communications Stadium where last season he led Hull City's Under-14s.

It has helped him forge his managerial philosophy. But, while enjoying developing young talent, McMillan has taken the Haxby United job in a bid to experience the buzz three points can bring.

He added: "I was taking Hull City's Under-14s last year and I will be with the U15s next season. Obviously I worked at the centre of excellence at York for two or three years before I went to Hull.

"At that level, it's not about winning as much as about developing players. This will give me that little bit more of an edge - more of a different buzz.

"I played for the club for a couple of seasons and I live in Haxby. I know a lot of the lads so it will be good. Haxby finished second in the premier division last year and we want to improve on that. We have the nucleus of a very good side.

"I want to have a very, very professional attitude and I want players with some fire in their bellies. If I am to do the job then I want them to cross across to the same way of thinking.

"We all have our ways of doing things and sometimes it doesn't always work. I am very much a players' person and at Haxby and Hull City I want to be approachable "I want to play football the right way and that means on the floor. I want my players to perform with a smile on their faces. That's something I have instilled in the U14s. I say to them go out and enjoy it'.

"It's a very short career so you have to go out and enjoy it. I did."

And despite coveting Colin Walker's job, what does McMillan think of the current set-up at City? "It is very difficult once you get into the Conference," he said.

"It is the next league and there are some good sides in there. You need a massive amount of luck and hopefully Colin Walker is the man to take them to the next step. He's a really likeable lad."

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