THERE is nothing temporary about Colin Walker.

Listening to him talk, as he spells out his ideas on how to take York City forward, it becomes clear this is a man who is looking well beyond a match-by-match contract.

It is a situation which, in the end, may be out of his hands.

But as the Minstermen prepare to begin the post-Billy McEwan era at Weymouth on Saturday, Walker is utterly convinced he is the man to help City surge back up the Blue Square Premier table.

It is all a far cry from the early part of 2005 when McEwan took Walker back into full-time football.

After spells as a coach at Barnsley and at Leeds United's academy, Walker found himself scratching around to make a living - scouting at clubs like Northampton and "trying to earn enough to pay the mortgage".

There is a symmetry about how Walker has now come to occupy the manager's office at KitKat Crescent. For his football journey, a career which has taken him from Hillsborough to Brazil, first began at York City.

"City were the first professional club I ever played for," he said.

"I only played for the reserves and that was when Wilf McGuinness was manager and Clive Baker was the coach.

"It is quite weird how it has worked out. I was out of football altogether and Billy - I don't know where he picked my name up from - rang me and asked me if I wanted to work with him. I came to talk to him, ended up coming here and have been mainly working with the reserves.

"I've learned ever such a lot from him and hopefully I will use some of it in my opportunity to be a manager."

Walker stresses he sees his caretaker role as a "great opportunity" - a chance to step out of the shadows. And this is a man who is not scared to take the plunge.

With his playing career in the doldrums in 1980, he went out to New Zealand in order to get time on the pitch.

He said: "I was at a low ebb and someone knocked on my door and asked if I wanted nine months in New Zealand.

"I was unemployed, I was playing for Matlock Town and I took it. There were no wages but the opportunity to fly half-way round the world was too good to miss.

"There were seven stop-overs on the flight. It took 46 hours to get there. It took three weeks to get over the jet lag.

"I can always remember my first training session - I couldn't walk, let alone run, my legs were so full of jelly from the jet-lag.

"I had such a fantastic time. I was the leading scorer in the national league that year and I had all the intentions of going back for 1981 but I came to England, I had friends at Barnsley and I played in their reserves.

"Norman Hunter was the manager. I played four games and scored four goals and he offered me a professional contract, which is what I always wanted."

Walker's Oakwell sojourn lasted three years and, in a superb six month stint, he netted 13 times in 18 games.

His first full match for the club came on the biggest stage - a League Cup quarter-final at Anfield where Barnsley secured a 0-0 draw.

He scored past Bruce Grobbelaar in the replay, but Barnsley went down 3-1. "I think there was a run where we won six times 1-0 and I scored all the goals," he said.

"I got another year but the manager decided to play a different way which didn't suit me. I went to play for Doncaster on loan, for Billy Bremner, who wanted me to stay because I got five goals in 12 for them but the team got relegated and we were offered the chance to emigrate and we took the plunge."

It led to an international career back in New Zealand where Walker scored 18 times in 34 appearances while continuing to play club football at Gisborne City.

He won New Zealand's golden boot in three of his five seasons for the Kiwi nation and was also named the country's player of the year. His international highlight came against Brazil, where he was marked by a young Aldair.

His playing career also took in spells at Cambridge, Sheffield Wednesday, Darlington and Torquay United. "Have boots, will travel," Walker joked.

In the coaching sphere, he learned his trade in a variety of roles at Barnsley and was at Leeds United's academy for one season.

Now, looking forward to his debut as the number one, Walker admits he doesn't know how he will feel when he steps out of the tunnel for the first time in charge of the Minstermen at Weymouth.

"I will be very honest, I don't know (what it will be like)," he said. "I have taken training for the first time and it has been my ship and I'm really enjoying what I am doing.

"I am a cheery chap. I like people to express themselves, enjoy themselves and hopefully we can get a response from the players and we will have to see what happens.

"Making decisions - I am not afraid to do that and I've already told the players that. In the relationship I've had with the players in the past, I was maybe the one they came to talk to if things were going wrong - for them, for the team or to help them.

"What I've said is I don't think that will change but I might now be the one who tells you you're not playing'. I will be honest with them and I'm hoping to be firm but fair.

"I have got a way that I hope the players will respond positively to on the pitch."

On Saturday, at 3pm, York City will start to learn the answer.