YORK City boss Martin Gray has declined to comment on rumours that youth-team striker Ryan Edmondson has been sold to Leeds United.

But the Bootham Crescent chief has confirmed that former Darlington assistant-manager Brian Atkinson has joined him as part of City’s backroom staff.

Edmondson, 16, made his senior Minstermen debut as a substitute in Gray’s first match – last month’s 2-1 home win over Brackley.

He has not featured again since for the first team, but has also interested Middlesbrough in the past.

The Press understands Edmondson’s transfer is expected to be made public next week but, after today’s 3-2 triumph at Alfreton, Gray simply said: “I’m here to talk about the game and getting a win away from home is the most important thing.”

Former midfielders Atkinson and Gray, meanwhile, both played for Sunderland and Darlington together.

They then worked at the latter when Gray took over as manager in May 2012.

Atkinson, who is 46 like Gray, also lined up alongside the likes of Alan Shearer and David James as part of the England under-21s side that beat France 1-0 in the 1991 Toulon Tournament final.

At Alfreton, Atkinson regularly relayed information to the City bench from his position in the Main Stand – a duty Gray wants his trusted friend to carry out in all future fixtures.

“He’s part of the staff and someone I’ve worked with since the age of 17,” Gray pointed out. “He has great knowledge of the game and was sat in the stand to analyse what was going on (at Alfreton).

“He gave us lots of information and is very calm – the opposite of me. As manager, you can get so involved in the game, so it’s useful to have somebody else in the stand looking at personnel and formations.

“We’ve worked like that for six years. He sits in the background unseen and unheard, but he had a massive impact at Darlington.”

Gray went on to add that Atkinson’s appointment would not change sporting director Dave Penney’s matchday role in the dugout with the City boss saying: “Dave is my number two and will continue to be the main man that works alongside me.”