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Chairman cites Doncaster Rovers as prime example for York City
YORK City chairman Jason McGill believes Capital One Cup opponents Doncaster Rovers provide an example of what can be achieved at Bootham Crescent during the club’s first campaign back in the Football League.
Back in 2004, Doncaster stormed to the League Two title after only bringing to an end five years of Conference football the season before with a play-off final victory over Dagenham & Redbridge.
The South Yorkshire side confirmed back-to-back promotions at the same time as City’s relegation was confirmed after then manager Chris Brass’ side went down 3-1 at Rovers’ old Belle Vue ground.
That result led to eight seasons of non-League football for the Minstermen while Doncaster, buoyed by the move to a new stadium, went on to ply their trade for four years in the Championship before being relegated from the second tier last month.
With 2012 Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final winners City targeting another tilt at promotion, McGill cites their League Cup first round hosts, during the week starting August 13, as perfect role models.
He said: “We are very ambitious and I think Doncaster Rovers are a team we can look at in terms of the success they achieved after being promoted from the Conference.
“They went on to move into a new stadium so the two clubs are quite similar in that respect and we can look to them for inspiration during our first season back in the Football League.
“I was a supporter back in the 1980s when both teams were fighting for promotion together and let’s hope we can emulate those times now we are back in the Football League by challenging towards the top of the table.”
City’s first round draw also offers the ideal opportunity for the club to exorcise the demons from their last competitive trip to Doncaster.
Whereas the Minstermen’s previous visit heralded the end of 75 years as a League side, this game will mark the beginning of a new era as one of the country’s top 92 teams and Doncaster chairman John Ryan, for one, is delighted that his club will stage that occasion.
McGill added: “Strange things like this happen in football.
“We were reminded of that match eight years ago when we got promoted and the scenes from Belle Vue were shown on television again.
“Sophie (Hicks) had to break the news to the manager that we’d been relegated because of other results that day so they are bitter memories.
“But Doncaster are in a new stadium now and it will be interesting to look at their facilities with an eye on our new stadium.”
Added McGill: “There’s a nice link between the two clubs and we had a lovely letter of congratulations on getting promoted from John Ryan, the chairman at Doncaster, who even wrote that it would be great if we drew each other in the League Cup so I am delighted with the draw and looking forward to the match.
“Some people say it’s better to have a home draw but that wasn’t to be.
“Instead, we are going to a former Championship club and it’s a good Yorkshire derby.
“We will take a lot of supporters and I’m sure there will be a lot of home supporters too.”
Having left recently-established rivals Luton behind in the Blue Square Bet Premier, McGill is also relishing renewing acquaintances with old foes, adding: “There will be a few other derbies next season with the likes of Rotherham and Bradford.
“Rochdale’s relatively close so hopefully there will be a lot of away supporters coming to Bootham Crescent and a lot of our fans going to away grounds to cheer on the lads.
“I think next season will be a great journey and I intend to love every minute of it because it’s been a long time coming.”