YORK City’s newest debutant Tyler Walton is using past setbacks to drive him on in his bid to establish himself in the first team at Bootham Crescent.

Walton enjoyed his first taste of senior action as a 54th-minute substitute for Yan Klukowski during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Torquay.

It was a proud moment for the 17-year-old midfielder, who was released by Leeds, Barnsley and Manchester City as a schoolboy, before being spotted by ex-Minstermen youth coach Jonathan Greening last season.

Reflecting on his past, Walton admitted: “I’ve had a few knockbacks from academies. I was at Leeds, Barnsley and Manchester City, which was very difficult because they kept buying young players from other countries and it was very hard for me to get in there.

“I got some good experience, but I was starting to get a bit down with football and it was my mum who told me to keep going and that I’d get somewhere. I ended up going to sixth-form college in Leeds and played against York.

“Jonno Greening asked me to train with the club’s scholars and, then, Jackie (McNamara) wanted me to train with the pros for a couple of weeks at the end of last season and I ended up getting pro.”

Citing Ben Godfrey as inspiration for what can happen if he impresses for City’s first XI, Walton is now excited for the future.

Godfrey, who was also allowed to leave Middlesbrough during his formative years, made the breakthrough at Bootham Crescent at the same age as Walton this time last year and, by mid-season, had been sold to then Premier League outfit Norwich, who he scored for in the Capital One Cup last month.

“Ben left just before I came to the club, but I’d heard about him and I’ve spoken to him since,” Walton added. “He told me just to keep going and, whilst he’s a year older than me, hopefully I’ll be able to go on and do what he’s done.”

Walton went on to reason that he was pleased with his Plainmoor outing, but promised he will have more to offer if he is afforded future pitch time.

“I was happy with making my debut and it is a great achievement at 17, but I just wish I could have made a difference, because it was disappointing to lose,” he reasoned. “It was a very fast tempo when I came on and I just tried to get on the ball and do the basics right by taking one or two touches before passing the ball on, as well as keeping my man, following him and not letting him score.

“I think that was the right thing to do until I get a few more minutes and, then, I can start changing things up a bit when I’m a bit more comfortable and have the confidence to play my own game.”

Walton also confessed that the whole circumstances surrounding his big weekend came as a surprise, including the moment he was told that he was on the coach for Devon.

“I had just finished my lunch when the squad got put up and that’s when I knew I was travelling,” he smiled. “It was a bit of a shock and then I made the bench and got on.

“I got told to warm up and then heard my name get shouted. I thought ‘is that me?’ at first, but I was very excited to get out on the pitch.”

Walton could be described as the first beneficiary, meanwhile, of the reinstatement of reserve-team football at City, having caught McNamara’s eye during this season’s opening Central League fixture four days before the Torquay clash.

“I did 90 minutes for the reserves at Hartlepool and played well, so maybe that was why I was called up and, hopefully, it will happen again, because I want to try and keep my place on the bench now and, hopefully, get in the team.”