LEE Grant was back to reality and school today after becoming one of the youngest players ever to play for York City.

Grant, 16, was back behind the books at Huntington School first thing this morning, just hours after coming off the bench and making his senior debut in the final few minutes of City's 3-0 win over Bristol Rovers at Bootham Crescent.

The teenager, who is believed to be the second youngest player in the club's history to make a senior appearance, is currently studying for his GCSEs before taking up a three-year scholarship with the Minstermen.

He told the Evening Press: "I have my first exam on May 22 so I've got to get back to the revision now."

Grant, who hails from Strensall, admitted he had been walking on air ever since he was told he was being called-up into the senior squad

"I found out on Saturday before the home game with Mansfield.

"I was told I was in the squad for Tuesday and there's been a few sleepless nights since then. I couldn't sleep the night before the game.

"I wasn't sure whether I'd get on but we were winning so I thought maybe there was a decent chance of coming on.

"It was really good and I really enjoyed it.

"All the older players really helped. They were talking to me and wished me all the best."

Several big clubs, most notably Sunderland, have been known to have been sniffing around the youngster, but Grant told the Evening Press he believed his best chance of furthering his footballing education was by staying with the Minstermen

"I just enjoy it here and I want to stay here. It's where I want to be.

"The club is known for giving youngsters the chance and if I went to somewhere like Sunderland there's not much chance of being on the bench of the first team."

Grant was one of 11 players in City's 15 man squad last night aged 22 or under and manager Terry Dolan was quick to praise his young tyros.

"The young players have again down very well," said the City chief, who revealed Grant will train with the senior squad on Friday before travelling with the team to Scunthorpe on Saturday.

"There wasn't a weak link out there tonight and it showed in the result.

"When you think the likes of Gary Hobson, Chris Brass, Mike Basham, Graham Potter, Richard Cooper and Lee Bullock are not in the team then I think it bodes well for next season.

"The experienced players can see the young players coming in are doing a good job and the young players have not been overawed.

"That shows they have all got the right character which is very important in football."

The youngest player to appear in a competitive match for City is Reg Stockill, who was 15 years and 281 days old when he lined-up in the club's first Football League match.

Stockill also scored City's first goal in that 2-0 win over Wigan Borough in 1929.

Updated: 09:03 Wednesday, April 17, 2002