YORK City striker Jon Parkin has never been relegated in 18 seasons as a professional and doesn’t intend to spoil that stat at the age of 35.

The 6ft 4in forward, who has plied his trade for 14 different clubs, made his second debut for City during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Tranmere.

It was a result that saw the North Yorkshire outfit drop to the foot of the National League table but Parkin – almost 13 years on from leaving the Minstermen to help keep Macclesfield in the Football League at the expense of the club he left behind – is determined to avoid a blemish on his proud CV.

On his reasons for returning to Bootham Crescent, Barnsley-based Parkin said: “I’ve been away from home for two-and-a-half years and wanted to come back so that was the main factor, but it’s also the fifth time I’ve joined a club in a relegation fight.

“We were second-bottom when I came here before and I went to Macclesfield and Hull when they were second-bottom, as well as Scunthorpe when they were third-bottom and I’ve not been relegated once, so I don’t want that to start this season. I know the chairman from the first time around too and he’s a brilliant bloke so, hopefully, I can help get us out of where we are.

“I didn’t really want to leave the last time I was here and it was hard watching what then happened, because it’s a lovely, little club and everything is set up with the new stadium, so we’ve got to make sure the club is in this league, at the very minimum, going into it.”

The renowned joker admitted, meanwhile, that it hasn’t taken to familiarise himself with his old surroundings.

“The big bath doesn’t get filled any more, which is a bit disappointing but, other than (physio) Jeff (Miller) getting a new set of weighing scales, I don’t think anything else has changed,” he laughed.

Along with his team target, Parkin also has an individual mission in mind, having moved on to 180 career goals.

“I’d like to get to 200 because that wouldn’t be too bad for a fat lad who can’t run,” he grinned.

Having shared a dressing room with fellow new recruit Aarran Racine for two seasons at Forest Green, Parkin went on to describe the centre back as an influential acquisition.

“Aarran’s a good centre half who, in my opinion, should be playing in their team,” Parkin declared. “He’s big, strong and good on the ball and will be a good signing for us.”

The ex-Championship performer also enjoyed linking up with Racine’s Forest Green team-mate and fellow loan recruit Rhys Murphy at Tranmere prior to the latter’s second-half rib injury.

“Rhys is a good player,” Parkin pointed out. “He’s quick and sharp and it was a shame he went off.”

With the experience of helping Forest Green reach the play-offs during the last two campaigns, Parkin added that he feels City do have the necessary qualities to win games at National League level if they can work on their fragile mental strength.

“I don’t think anybody could question the lads’ attitudes during Saturday’s game, because everybody gave everything they’ve got, but we switched off in the 93rd minute and they scored the only goal of the game,” Parkin explained. “I’ve heard that’s been happening a bit too much and that’s the difference between a team at the top of the table and where we are.

“Everyone was devastated afterwards, but we’ve got to be stronger. You need to get that first win and don’t look too far ahead.

“After the Trophy game, we just need to concentrate on the next three league games which are massive and we need to be looking to get maximum points from them. To do well at this level, you need organisation, hard work and people who are willing to put their head in and get hurt for the cause.

“You also need people who can score goals and, apart from the last bit, we did that at Tranmere.”

Parkin, himself, netted four times in ten Sky Bet League Two matches for struggling Newport before falling out of favour after Graham Westley replaced Warren Feeney as manager.

On that situation, he said: “The old manager was as good as gold and I was really enjoying it, but the new manager came in with his ideas on how to do things and, to be honest, at my age and stage of career, I didn’t really suit the way he trains, which is fair enough because that’s how he does it, but you need to be looked after a bit when you’re 600 games down the line.”