YORK City's youth team will play in the National League Under-19 Alliance next season with sporting director Dave Penney hailing the move as the "perfect solution" to a funding headache.

The 2018/19 campaign will be the first since the Minstermen's relegation from the Football League in which there will be no financial assistance from the sport's central authorities for the provision of junior football at Bootham Crescent.

During City's first season back in non-League football, the club continued to benefit from the £260,000 donation as a Category Three academy belonging to the Elite Player Performance Plan.

That amount was then halved in the club's second campaign outside of the Football League and all funding has now been withdrawn, as the club prepare for a third.

Consequently, the Minstermen have relinquished EPPP status and pulled out of the Football League Youth Alliance.

City's teenagers will now play on a Wednesday afternoon, instead of Saturday mornings, in a league that was won by Guiseley last term, with the Leeds club finishing ahead of South Shields, Halifax, FC United of Manchester, Gateshead, Rochdale, Darlington, Maltby Main, Farsley Celtic and Harrogate Town.

The club will also continue to operate the same number of teams from under-16 downwards, but parents of players will be expected to make contributions towards costs, either through sponsorship or from their own pockets.

On the switch to the different league, Penney said: "It’s a good standard. It’s not a college league and I don’t think the standard will drop vastly.

"We’ll also still look to get some friendlies on a Saturday against the teams we played last season, as well as some open-age matches to test our lads against men. The EPPP programme guarantees a certain standard, but it also ties you into things to a certain extent.

"We can now tailor-make our youth department to suit our own requirements. It’s all education-based and the players will still go to York College twice a week and they'll carry on receiving full-time training from 16 to 18.

"It’s the perfect solution and sits well with us. When we get back into the Football League, we didn’t want to be starting from scratch, so we’re trying to keep the department going as best we can and are able to do that with the continued support of the chairman (Jason McGill)."

As revealed previously by The Press, the Minstermen will play no official reserve fixtures next term after terminating their Central League membership with Penney pointing out: "We couldn’t play reserve games on a Tuesday and then expect some of the same kids to play in the new competition the day after."

First-year pros Flynn McNaughton, Vinnie Steels, Ryan Whitley, Harry Thompson and Josh Rogerson will also be eligible to play in the new league, but Penney reasoned: "We’ll have to decide where they get their football. They could be involved with the first team or go out on loan as well."

Ex-Doncaster Rovers chief Penney went on to reveal that the loss of jobs, previously funded and required as part of EPPP, have been suffered at the National League North outfit, adding: "We’ve had a massive restructure because people have had to leave and everything needed to be stream-lined after we lost our funding. We needed seven full-time staff when we were governed by EPPP, but now there will only be two.

"Dan Wilson will be the head of youth development and we’re currently looking to recruit a replacement for Steve Torpey as youth-team coach. There will still be the same number of teams though."