YORK City boss Martin Gray is set to announce this week who will captain the team during the new season.

Sean Newton wore the armband last term after Simon Heslop had carried out that honour the campaign before.

Both players remain at Bootham Crescent, but neither season fulfilled the club’s expectations, with relegation from the National League preceding a mid-table finish in English football’s regionalised sixth tier.

Gray must now decide whether the club relieve their skipper of his responsibilities for a second successive summer with former captain Russ Penn another contender for the role.

Centre-back Dan Parslow has also led the team out in the past and is one game away from entering the club’s top-10 list for all-time appearances.

On his choice to lead the side, Gray said: “I’ve got to talk to the group about that this week and, once I’ve spoken to all the players, then we’ll let everyone know about it.”

After opening their pre-season programme with a 2-1 triumph at Northern League first division outfit Shildon, City now play host to a trio of Football League visitors, who Gray argued will have an added incentive to give his side a good workout, having all made changes at the helm over the summer.

Barnsley, relegated from the Championship, are first up tonight having replaced Jose Morais with German chief Daniel Stendel.

On Saturday, Bradford will be led by former Minstermen midfielder Michael Collins, who was the surprise candidate to succeed Simon Grayson, while Leeds visit a week on Thursday under the guidance of high-profile former Argentina, Chile, Lazio and Marseille chief Marcelo Bielsa, with Paul Heckingbottom the latest boss to be given his marching orders at Elland Road.

Outlining the impact of the close-season upheaval, Gray reasoned: “Barnsley will be a tough game.

“They’ve had a new manager come in, as have all of the three clubs we’ll be playing next – Barnsley, Bradford and Leeds. That will be good for us because they will be wanting to impress at our place, as should my players.

“They should want to show they can hold their own against better players from higher leagues and get a lot of fitness out of it. It will be great to get out on to our fantastic pitch again too and the next three matches are great games for us.”

Midfielder Penn and teenage winger Vinnie Steels were the only two players not to be replaced at the interval against Shildon, but Gray revealed that he would look to up the game time of others too against the Tykes, saying: “Players will get slightly more minutes – maybe one hour or one hour and ten. I also want us to show a bit more about what we’ll be about and what we are likely to go with this season.”

After both of City’s goals at Shildon were created by wingers – Steels claiming the first assist and Wes York the second for Jon Parkin and Macaulay Langstaff’s respective efforts – Gray added that the team’s flank performers will need carry on coming to the fore should his favoured 4-4-2 formation prove successful this season.

“It’s important our forwards get chances and, at Shildon, it was typical Jon Parkin – he had one chance and put in a really, controlled header across the goal,” Gray pointed out. “He does that well and it was great that the wide players produced crosses for the strikers and midfielders who were in the box.”

* CITY'S home National League North fixture against Spennymoor Town has been brought forward 24 hours to Good Friday, April 19, 2019, kick off 3pm. It had been scheduled for April 20 in fixtures released last week.