City skipper’s final honour

First published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

YORK City captain Daniel Parslow is hoping to end his first full season as a professional footballer by lifting the FA Trophy at Wembley.

Parslow will become one of a select band of skippers to get their hands on silverware at the new stadium even though his first priority was to nail down a starting position at the beginning of the campaign, having had to force his way into the first-team reckoning in the past.

Previous boss Colin Walker handed summer signing Mark Greaves the armband but David McGurk assumed the role on new manager Martin Foyle’s arrival.

When McGurk was sidelined by injury in the New Year, though, 23-year-old Parslow was Foyle’s choice as on-pitch leader – a position he has held on to despite the return to fitness of his central-defensive partner.

About the prospect of being the winning captain come May 9, Parslow said: “When we visited Wembley last week, it really whetted the appetite. It was so impressive driving towards the stadium and seeing the big arch.

“It gave me a tingle. I’m fortunate to be captain of York City and I can’t wait until next Saturday to step out and hopefully walk up those steps to lift the Trophy. That would be a great honour.”

As skipper, Parslow added that he feels it is important he is able to inspire his team-mates against Stevenage.

Of his duty on the day, he said: “When you have the armband, it’s all about leading by example. I always try to give my all and show 100 per cent commitment.

“I also try to be a vocal leader and do my bit to rally the troops. I will show York how proud I am to lead the team out at Wembley.

“It will be a terrific way to cap a very long and difficult season. It’s a privilege to captain York City. It was nice the gaffer thought highly enough of me that I was next in line. I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Under Billy McEwan, Parslow was often on the periphery but, aside from last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Lewes in which he was rested, he has started the other 92 games under Colin Walker and Martin Foyle.

In fact, he had been on the pitch for every minute of the 2008/9 season until the meaningless Dripping Pan clash – a record he is understandably proud of, having kept his place despite strong competition from the likes of McGurk, Greaves and Shaun Pejic.

Parslow added: “I was a bit in and out at York but under the last two managers, I’ve been an ever present almost. Your performances and consistency levels improve if you are playing week in, week out.

“We have had some good players in the centre-back positions and plenty of competition for places and to keep the likes of McGurk out of the team means you are doing something right.”

City ended the Blue Square Premier campaign with the seventh-best defensive record despite finishing 17th in the final table.

However, the Minstermen’s back line had most problems against play-off semi-finalists Stevenage, conceding five goals in two meetings.

Boro’s forward line of Steve Morison and Lee Boylan also boast a formidable record against the Minstermen. Morison has netted four times in his five appearances against City, while Boylan has managed six in six.

About next weekend’s challenge, Parslow said: “We are obviously underdogs. Stevenage have had a great season and they are fighting to go up but we have had two good games against them this season.

“We got a good draw down there. Our home performance was also pretty good for 55 minutes before we let ourselves down a bit.

“We’ve been pretty good defensively. It was a freak game down at Stevenage really. We conceded some bad goals but we also put three past them so I’m sure they will be worrying about us as well.

“Their two strikers are threats. Morison is always a handful but, if we can keep him out, hopefully our lads can put a few in at the other end.”

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