Martyn Woolford burst on to the City scene last term. Now the winger is setting himself a twin target - League football and 15 goals, as he tells DAVE FLETT.

FLYING York City winger Martyn Woolford is in no mood to stand still this season after making his belated breakthrough into professional football during 2006/2007.

Woolford, 21, was rejected by Barnsley, Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers as a schoolboy and his most recent knock-back was delivered by Stockport County last summer.

The League Two outfit decided not to pursue their interest in Woolford having included him as a trialist in their squad for a pre-season tournament in Ibiza.

Instead, the former Glasshoughton player started the season at UniBond League side Frickley Atheltic.

But Stockport's loss was the Minstermen's gain with Woolford arriving at KitKat Crescent on the eve of the September 1 transfer deadline.

Within hours, he had made an exciting City debut as a second-half substitute against Stafford Rangers and, 18 days later, he was already outlining his match-winning potential by scoring both goals in a 2-1 win at Woking.

Woolford went on to finish his first season of full-time football with eight goals and is now determined to keep proving his doubters wrong.

He has targeted the Football League as his next destination and hopes that City will be the club to take him there, as he looks to make up for lost time.

Woolford said: "When I was a young kid, I always wanted to become a footballer but I didn't really get a chance with clubs. I went on trials but I had some bad luck with injuries, a couple of bad games and things didn't really happen for me.

"But I kept training myself, working hard and never lost my ambition. It's difficult when you don't get a break, but my Dad always pushed me and I stayed determined and I still am.

"I don't want the Conference to be my highest level. The Conference was a noticeable step up for me, but I think I have coped well.

"My aim is to keep working my way up and making it to the highest level that I can.

"The next step for me is the Football League and I want to make that step as soon as possible.

"To do it with York would be great."

When his trial at Stockport came to nothing, Woolford had resigned himself to another season of semi-professional football before City swooped.

City boss Billy McEwan followed up a tip-off from club sponsor Trevor Milton and swooped for the talented left-footer.

Woolford was grateful for the chance, saying: "Going on trial at Stockport for a week was a good experience and the impression I was getting was that they were pretty interested but then it was a no-go.

"I wasn't really told why. They said they would keep an eye on me, but I never heard anything else. Then York came in and it was a surprise because it was pretty close to the transfer deadline.

"I thought I might miss the window, but I signed on August 31 and ended up playing the next night. That was great because I never wanted to go somewhere and sit on the bench all the time.

"I was pleased to get a decent chance to prove my worth last season and, hopefully, I have shown I can cope at this level if not a bit higher."

Sensibly, Woolford decided to enter further education when his dreams of becoming a professional footballer stalled at a young age and he passed his Higher National Diploma in civil engineering at Leeds Met University this summer.

The qualification provides him with a variety of vocational opportunities but, for now, he remains single-minded when considering the direction of his chosen career path.

"I was working as a land surveyor before I came to York but, hopefully, I will make enough money from football that I won't need to go back to civil engineering," he said.

"It's a good thing to have behind me because I can do a number of jobs with it, but I want my football to get me where I need to be. I'm still ambitious and still hope to make it big."

Woolford also admitted that combining his studies last season with the pursuit of promotion to the Football League via an appearance at the newly-opened Wembley Stadium sometimes proved problematic.

He remains angry as well at his individual performance and the team's display during the two-legged play-off semi-final defeat against Morecambe.

Woolford added: "It was hard to concentrate on studying at times to be honest and, if I was not working under those circumstances, my grades could have been better but I got everything I needed anyway. The play-offs were very disappointing though.

"I was absolutely gutted and not many words can describe how I felt. It was a great achievement to do what we did during the season but, having played so well at home, we should have gone into the second leg with a comfortable lead.

"We did not perform as a team then and I was fuming at myself for the way I played but we've got to put that behind us now and, if we don't get automatic promotion, we might get somewhere like Wembley this season. It's something to aim for."

Having almost reached double figures last season despite 14 of his 40 league appearances coming as a substitute, Woolford is also setting himself a challenging goal target for the season ahead.

He said: "I'm aiming for 15. I know that's a bit big, but I got eight last season when I wasn't starting week in, week out.

"I'm always training and working on improving so, hopefully, 15 is a target I can achieve."