York City fans got a glimpse of the future at the Minstermen's Division Three clash with Darlington last Saturday.

Next year's crop of first-year trainees, the young City stars of the future, were introduced to the crowd at half-time.

As revealed in the Evening Press, the magnificent seven are: Gary Anderson, from Durham, a centre-half who has been with the club for three years; Adam Arthur, from York, a right-sided midfielder or striker, who has been with City for six years; Kane Ashcroft, from Leeds, a central midfielder who was previously on the books of Sheffield Wednesday; Steven Baines, a left-back from Billingham who has been with City for five years; Lee Grant, also from York and a centre-half who has been a City junior for the last six years; Bryan Stewart, a left winger, also from Billingham who has been in the City junior ranks for five years; David Stockdale, a goalkeeper, from Leeds, who joined City two years ago.

The teenagers will hope to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Richard Cresswell, Jonathan Greening, Graeme Murty and Darren Williams, who all started out as trainees with the Minstermen before moving to bigger clubs.

Some fans may already have seen the youngsters in action, a number of them having been called up to the club's intermediates side during the course of the season.

Arthur, Grant, Stewart and Stockdale have also recently been named in City reserve team squads.

Interestingly enough, those hardy souls who braved the rain on Wednesday night to see City's second string in action against Doncaster Rovers were treated to what must be an extremely rare occurrence.

Of the 16-man City squad, only one player, trialist Greg Pearce, had not emerged from City's prestigious centre of excellence programme.

The team was: Howarth, Law, Davies, Thompson, Pearce, Fielding, Salvati, McKenzie, Emmerson, Yalcin, Darlow. Subs: Collinson, Coad, Grant, Stewart, Arthur.

JUST what has Exeter City striker Christian Roberts got against the Minstermen?

As reported in the Evening Press this week, Roberts bagged his sixth goal in four appearances for the Grecians against City in midweek.

It is quite a statistic, especially given the fact Roberts is a striker that seems to blow either very hot or very cold. Unfortunately for City, against the Minstermen he's always on the boil.

To prove the point, in his two seasons at St James' Park, the former Cardiff City hit-man has scored 18 goals - meaning a third of all his Grecians' strikes have come against the Minstermen.

THE plot thickens. The sense of paranoia brought about by Roberts' run became even more real with the news this week that Hartlepool United shot-stopper Anthony Williams has won the Nationwide Save of the Month Award.

Readers of this column may recall that January's award was won by Rochdale's Matthew Gilks, initially for his penalty save to deny Graham Potter although that was later amended to a point-blank stop to deny Peter Duffield's header. The Bootham Crescent encounter finished 0-0.

Just like Gilks, Williams' winning save came against City at Bootham Crescent and also thwarted Duffield.

Having kept out a stinging Michael Proctor effort Williams produced cat-like reflexes to then turn away Duffield's follow-up.

Spooky or what? Sounds like a job for Mulder and Scully.

CAN you kick it? The City Supporters' Trust is calling for local companies and their footballing employees to kick into gear and help give the fans' group a cash boost.

Sky TV are currently on the look-out for teams to take part in their Corporate Cup five-a-side tournament, to be staged in Derby in June.

With a minimum of seven television appearances guaranteed, the competition, will guarantee any team taking part national exposure for their company.

The Supporters' Trust will benefit from a £300 'finders fee' and if the team goes on the win the tournament the Trust will bank £30,000. Second place will earn a donation of £20,000 and third place £10,000.

Places are already being snapped up however, with the stars of Emmerdale already entering a team.

For further details, telephone Ian Savage on 07974 574283 or e-mail iansavage@breathemail.net

FOOTBALLING nomad Phil Hadland is on the move again.

The flying winger, who at the beginning of last season snubbed a chance to join City in favour of Rochdale, has signed a contract until the end of the season with Second Division high-fliers Brighton.

Less than a year after signing for Dale, Hadland was on the move again to link up with Leyton Orient - much to the chagrin of then Rochdale boss Steve Parkin.

Hadland, who started his career with Reading, hardly pulled up any trees at Brisbane Road making just six substitute appearances.

One of those saw him score his only goal for Orient - a stunning strike against the Minstermen last month in City's 2-1 win over the Os.

Hadland earned a trial at Brighton after impressing in a recent reserve team clash between Orient and Peter Taylor's second-string side.

THE Yorkie Bars, a City supporters' team brought together by the world-wide-web, were denied only their second ever victory in a competitive match after their Darlington counterparts staged an impressive second-half fightback.

The Bars were 3-0 up with 40 minutes remaining against the Quakers, courtesy of goals from Peter George, Jimmy Fox and James Copley.

However, having been seemingly well set for victory the Bars crumbled as the clock ticked-down and eventually lost 4-3.

Sure-footed Simon

MINSTERMEN fan-on-the-run Simon Birch will be pounding the streets of London next month to make a capital investment in the York City Supporters' Trust.

Birch, 32, is competing in the London Marathon, which gets under starter's orders on April 14 on behalf of City and the Trust.

Birch, from Acomb, York, is a veteran of seven London Marathons and hopes to compete the 26.2mile course in a time of around three and a half hours.

A City fan for 27 years, he is a member of the recently formed Trust and all monies raised through his lung-busting effort will be donated to the fans' organisation.

Sponsorship forms are available at the City club shop. He can also be contacted via e-mail at simondebbirch@hotmail.com

Fresh talents seize points

THE Evening Press player of the year rankings welcomed a couple of new recruits this week.

After matches against Darlington and Exeter, the top of the table remains unchanged with last year's winner Alan Fettis holding pole position ahead of Michael Proctor.

But at the bottom the names of Leigh Wood and Stephen Brackstone are new additions after Wood picked up two points against the Quakers and Brackstone a point on his full debut at Exeter.

Man of the match awards and three points went to Mike Basham against Darlington and Jon Parkin against the Grecians, although neither defender moved up the rankings as a result.

Skipper Chris Brass also enjoyed a productive week, picking up one point last Saturday and another two against Exeter.

Latest standings: Fettis 44pts, Proctor 42, Nogan 30, Bullock 26, Basham 20, Brass 19, Edmondson 16, Hocking 16, Fielding 12, Parkin 11, Duffield 7, Smith 7, Cooper 6, Hobson 4, Potter 4, Richardson 4, Howarth 3, Wood 2, Brackstone 1, Fox 1.

Updated: 11:09 Saturday, March 23, 2002