SPORTING director Dave Penney believes York City will profit from manager Martin Gray’s swift transfer-market business.

Gray used his knowledge of the non-League, north-east scene to pounce quickly when he learned of off-pitch problems at Gateshead.

As a consequence, four of his seven close-season signings – Russell Penn, Wes York, Jordan Burrow and Macauley Langstaff - were made from the National League club, who finished 17th in English football’s fifth tier last term.

The quartet have all been persuaded to drop down a division into National League North by Gray and ex-Doncaster Rovers chief Penney praised the City boss’ swiftness of action that also saw Kallum Griffiths, Tom Allan and Jake Wright snapped up from Spennymoor, Alfreton and Harrogate Town respectively before this week’s return to pre-season training.

Penney said: “The manager is there or thereabouts with his recruitment and he’s happy with what he’s fetched into the building. He did his business early doors and you have to take advantage of what might be happening at other clubs by having your ear to the ground, so you know what’s available.

“We knew what was happening at Gateshead and there was a window of opportunity to get in players who have consistently performed at a higher level.”

Penney admitted that everybody at the club has also been excited by the progress that has been made at the Community Stadium site over the close season.

East Stand steel work can now be seen at Monks Cross, along with parts of the concrete concourse, while foundation work has started on the West Stand.

Steelwork on the cinema, meanwhile, is almost complete and construction of the indoor sports hall and gym continues apace, while the swimming pool is being excavated.

Confirming the arena is on schedule for a summer 2019 opening, Penney added: “We’re not able to have a proper look yet, due to health and safety, but it’s great to see the steel flying up, so everybody can see it’s happening now.

“It’s on time and It will be great when we can get up there with our hard hats and the players.”

Improvements have been made to the club’s training ground this summer too – one courtesy of the four-figured sum bequeathed by John Berridge, the son of 1920s City keeper Joe, in his will.

“The training ground pitch has been reseeded and sanded following financial contributions from the vice-presidents,” Penney revealed. “Dugouts have also been built with the £1,000 legacy left by the Berridge family.

“They are required for the new league the youth team will be playing in, so the money has been a great help and we are having plaques put on them, so everybody can see how they were funded.”