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Season preview: Chris Doig settling down
6:00pm Wednesday 8th August 2012 in News
Chris Doig tells DAVE FLETT of his love for York City.
SETTLED York City defender Chris Doig believes his football will benefit from some much-needed career stability after signing a new contract for Gary Mills’ team.
Prior to his February arrival at Bootham Crescent, where he went on to play an integral role in the Minstermen’s promotion from the Blue Square Bet Premier, Doig struggled for employment last season.
After an unhappy spell in Indonesia, following on from a season playing in Australia’s A-League, Doig returned to English shores with most teams in this country having finalised their squads.
Initially training for three weeks with Nottingham Forest’s academy, Doig secured a brief pre-season trial with Wycombe but, when nothing arose from that, the Dumfries-born centre back had to wait for months before Aldershot offered him a one-month deal.
He had a couple of outings for the Shots but was out of work again in the New Year and, after Northampton only offered him another short-term contract, he leapt at the chance to join City until the end of the season.
Despite his nomadic existence and paucity of match action, the 31-year-old defender quickly proved his worth under Mills but, having enjoyed a little more structure in his life this summer – studying for his UEFA ‘B’ licence in Scotland before going on holiday to America and then putting pen to paper for the Minstermen – Doig reckons that will be reflected in his 2012/13 performances.
He said: “I’m hoping I will get more benefit from a full pre-season. When I came here in February, realistically, it was always going to take a couple of games to get up to scratch, coming in as a new player short of match fitness.
“My first couple of performances were not great but pre-season is usually the time to get your match fitness and meet your team-mates and, while the first three quarters of last season were not the best for me, I had a fantastic time here and really enjoyed it.
“After the past 12 months, I just wanted to have something a bit more settled for the new season so, when the offer came in, we had a chat and I accepted the terms. There was a bit of other interest but I did not want to take chances waiting for this and that.
“I just wanted to know where I was going to be for the year because it’s getting harder and harder every summer to get a contract.”
Having spent different stages of last season at three of City’s League Two rivals this term – Wycombe, Aldershot and Northampton – Doig is confident a defensive core that will see the likes of himself, captain Chris Smith , David McGurk , Dan Parslow and Jamal Fyfield contesting centre-half places will be a match for most in the division, while admitting the back line will still need to up their standards.
The former Scotland under-21 international added: “The more competition at the club the better I feel.
“We have some really good players at centre-back so I will have to be at my best to get picked for games. Overall, our standards will need to improve as a team but that’s only natural when you are going up a division.”