HAVING seemingly been thrown on the soccer scrapheap last year, David Ferguson has given up a job in refuse to return to full-time football with York City.

Ferguson was picked up by Premier League Sunderland at 17 after impressing during six appearances for Darlington in the Conference.

He didn’t make the breakthrough at the Stadium of Light but, at the age of 20, he was playing for Blackpool in the Championship and then captained the Tangerines the following season after relegation.

Despite 32 appearances that campaign, though, the Sunderland-born left-back found himself dropping six levels in the summer of 2016 to play part-time football in the Northern League first division with Shildon.

Midway through the campaign, he rejoined his old club Darlington, where he continued to combine a council career with his playing commitments. Having followed his old boss Martin Gray to Bootham Crescent this week, though, he has handed in his notice and will be switching all his attentions back to his preferred profession again.

Explaining the difficulties of balancing sixth-tier football with a day job, Ferguson said: “I worked for the council investigating stuff on the refuse side, so I was dealing with fly-tipping and all sorts.

“I also did a bit of coaching as well with the Level 3 NVQ qualification I have got so, first and foremost, this move us an opportunity to get back into full-time football. Until a year ago that’s all I’d known from leaving school and I wanted to get back into it.

“There are things that I know went on that are just the nature of the industry and I shouldn’t have dropped down that far in the game, but I kept believing in myself and I’m on the way back up now with York City. Playing part-time and working means you can’t concentrate 100 per cent on your football, but I can again now.

“I also like the structure in place at York and the club’s ambition, while Martin obviously played a big part in me coming here too.”

Gray was on Darlington’s coaching staff during Ferguson’s first spell at the club before swooping for him when he soon shone at Shildon.

The England C international is, therefore, well-qualified to identify the new City’s boss’ best managerial qualities.

“He’s ruthless and what you see is what you get,” Ferguson stressed. “Basically, it comes down to doing things his way and he expects people to work hard - he’s very old school in that respect.”

Ferguson’s arrival has caused a few raised eyebrows, given the presence already of three recognised left-backs at the club in Alex Whittle, Sean Newton and Sam Muggleton, but the new addition admits that he relishes a challenge for places and that he can also play further up the pitch if required.

“I’m the type of player that uses competition to drive me on,” he explained. “It keeps you wanting to make sure you stay in the team.

“I’ve played at left-back in the majority of my games, but I can play left wing. I’m attack-minded and like to get forward, which full-backs have to do these days.

“Even though I’m a defender, I like to have a shot at goal and I’ve scored four times this season at Darlington, where I was the joint-top scorer so, hopefully, I can double that now or get more.”

Ferguson, who was in the same youth team as Jassem Sukar and knows Josh Law from the past, also feels he has joined a very capable squad, based on a chastising experience when Darlington visited Bootham Crescent in August and escaped with a fortunate 0-0 draw.

“At half-time in that game, I said “these are the best we’ve played” and I still believe that to be the case,” Ferguson said. “We also played Salford, but it felt like we were in the trenches for that first 45 minutes here.

“I thought the attacking players were very sharp and the wingers impressed me, along with the midfield, who had a strong presence about them. They dominated us and we could have been 3-0 or 4-0 down but, in the second half, we structured ourselves a little differently and the match changed a bit.

“But I know there are some really good talented individuals here and I know Martin will get some very organised team performances out of the group.”