IT'S perhaps no surprise that during a season which has been pretty pants, a group of York City supporters have chosen to produce a new fanzine called Y Front.

Perhaps more of a shock is the decision to revive a football phenomenon that had seemingly past its sell-by date many years earlier even than some of this season's underperforming squad.

City were at the frontier of the popular supporter-produced publications when Terrace Talk first surfaced at Bootham Crescent in the early 1980s.

Ginner's Left Foot followed in the 1990s but, in common with grounds up and down the country, the cultural trend seemed to have passed by in the multi-media age.

With sales of Y Front rising to 300 at last weekend's home match with Leyton Orient, however, it seems there is some resistance to the mobile phone's march towards global hand-held domination.

The enduring popularity of national fanzine-style magazine When Saturday Comes, which recently celebrated its 30-year anniversary and still boasts a circulation in excess of 20,000, also suggests the latest City reincarnation, launched by the Cliffe Minstermen, has greater hopes of survival than the current team do in their forlorn bid to beat the drop back into non-League football.

Editor Michael Miles also reasons that the on-pitch struggles represent a timely moment for Y Front's launch, as true York City fans identify with the real reasons they follow their football club, as history sadly suggests, despite those much-cherished and famous moments of glory, it's not because the team wins every week.

"I think the best time to bring out a fanzine is when the team are doing poorly, because what some people don't understand is that, as football supporters, sometimes the best times, biggest laughs and greatest days out can be during hard times on the pitch," Miles reasoned. "You are down to your real hardcore fans then and, when the football isn't entertaining, you look to other things to make following the club an enjoyable experience.

"What goes on on the pitch is only 90 minutes once or twice a week and being a York City fan is about much more than that so, going forward, we want to document what's happening on the terraces in a way that the club programme can't do.

"There are at least 2,500 York City fans with stories to tell and we want to feature all the different people that follow our club."

During its first edition, the fanzine suggests several interesting marketing avenues that the club might want to explore - including York City sticker albums for young supporters and a renewed association with the 1970s Y Front kit, which is featured on the Cliffe Minstermen's group logo.

There was also a long intriguing interview with Cliffe's resident City legend Chris Topping and a feature on fascinating Finnish fan Tomi Honkanen, along with a dream XI picked by one member of the group.

Fashion also features heavily with recommendations for casual wear and Miles added: "As a supporters group, we're interested in all things retro and terrace culture and there was nothing really around at York City to embrace that. We wanted to bring something different to the matchday experience and follow in the footsteps of Terrace Talk, which was produced by the original York Nomads Society and was the first football fanzine to come out in 1981.

"When Saturday Comes was born out of an era that was started by the likes of Terrace Talk and City Gent at Bradford. They turned it into a commercial success and I still buy it every month.

"Digital media has obviously come in now, but we wanted to create something you can hold in your hand and read at half-time. It's a bit like the current clamour for vinyl records again.

"We knew it would be a bit of a gamble, but the feedback has been really positive and we feel there's a market for it. You see social media these days and it can all get a bit nasty, so we want to get away from all that as well."

Y Front have, however, set up their own Twitter account and quickly realised it can complement the fanzine by posting photographs of clothing tips that could not be accommodated or did not reproduce well in the cheaply-assembled print format.

"It was accidental really," Miles admitted of the on-line partnership. "I hadn't used Twitter before and did it to make people aware that the fanzine was coming out, but it's become interactive now."

With little jokes made at the expense of Douglas Craig, John Batchelor and Keith Usher, the Y Front team also intend to provide more laughs in future editions.

"We played it a bit safe for the first one and, while we don't want to be controversial, we want to bring a bit more humour in," Miles explained. "We don't want to fight against the club either but, if issues crop up, we will be looking to highlight them."

The Cliffe Minstermen range in age from 15 to the mid-40s, but are looking to build up a bigger band of contributors to the fanzine and have already been approached by willing scribes.

It will be on sale again at this afternoon's home match with Wycombe and the next issue is planned for the opening day of 2016/17 with the intention to produce five or six during the campaign.