STUART Parnaby will draw upon all his experiences working under three England managers during his new coaching role at York City.

The 36-year-old, former Middlesbrough right back benefited from the knowledge of Terry Venables, Steve McClaren and current Three Lions chief Gareth Southgate at the Riverside, having also come through the ranks under the watchful eye of his father - the north-east club’s highly-respected former academy director Dave Parnaby.

Southgate, in particular, played an integral role in Parnaby’s formative years - first as a team-mate and then as his manager - with the latter admitting he tries to emulate his past mentor’s much-heralded, man-management skills.

On his privileged footballing education, Parnaby confessed: “I’ve been very lucky and my dad was probably the biggest influence on me, but you have to be your own person and take things from all the different people you’ve worked with and mould it into what you are going to be.

“I try and treat people how I would want to be treated and I think getting that respect on both sides is a big thing and Gareth Southgate played a big role in my development as a person, not just a footballer. He helped me with contract stuff as a kid when he was still a player, speaking to the PFA for me, rather than my dad getting involved.

“It was then a tough role for him to go straight into management from being a player, but the way he is with people was always going to give him half a chance of succeeding and, on top of that, his football knowledge is second-to-none. He’s just a good person and, in the society we live in now, you have to pick times to say the right things to young players because, if you say the wrong things, it can lead to worse things happening.

“He’s doing a great job for England and, as a role model for me, he was as good as I was going to get as a young player. I feel the England job was just a natural progression for him.

“He just needed time and, equally, I don’t expect to be perfect in my role, but that’s my aim, as I get more experience in different areas. Terry Venables’ attention to organisation was also massive and, with Steve McClaren, no matter what anybody says, he’s good at what he does as a coach and he gave me my life really, because he gave me an opportunity to play in the Premier League and trusted me as a kid.”

Parnaby, who is currently studying for his UEFA B Licence, joined City in the summer initially as the club’s strength and conditioning coach before Martin Gray’s dismissal five games into the new campaign saw him accept an invitation to become part of Sam Collins’ then caretaker management team.

With his number-two role having now been made permanent, the ex-UEFA Cup finalist revealed that he won’t be neglecting his former responsibilities either.

“I’ve got a good relationship with the lads, having built up a trust from working with them in pre-season and I hope the knowledge I’ve gained from my career can help them on and off the pitch,” he reasoned. I’m keeping what I started going, but I’m now more of a link between the dressing room and manager and I try to take as much off Sam as I can, because it’s up to myself, Buster (physio Ian Gallagher) and Belly (goalkeeper coach Mark Bell) to deal with stuff he doesn’t need to, so the workload is evened out.

“If I think something needs saying, I’m not shy to say it either, but Sam always has the final say of course. I didn’t see this opportunity coming but I was never going to turn it down.

“I think we have a great set of players who are willing to take everything on board we throw at them – not just in terms of what we want on the pitch, but what me and Buster want from them physically because, body wise, your diet needs to be right and how you sleep and recover is massive as well.

“We give them as much information as possible, so they can perform to their maximum on a Saturday.”

Having a career plagued by injury also sparked Parnaby’s interest in strength and conditioning, meaning he is perhaps more sympathetic than many coaches and managers when unfortunate players find themselves repeatedly in the treatment room.

Listing his own problems from top to bottom, Parnaby recalls a broken nose, dislocated jaw, two dislocated collar bones, two hip operations, a hamstring tear, a bad quad, cruciate damage, medial ligament damage and a broken leg, prompting him to declare: “I spent a lot longer than I wanted in gyms during my career, so I’ll never moan about a player being injured again, because I know all about how tough that situation is.

“You have to be a psychologist in that scenario and Buster is massive on that, because it’s important injured players still feel part of things. Injury prevention is also a massive part of our work now because, if you can get your best 11 players out every week, it gives you the best chance to be successful.”

Parnaby had been involved in football since the age of nine, before spending last season out of the game, using that time to start his own business as a golf strength and conditioning coach, helping Rockliffe Hall’s Callum Tarren win a place on America’s circuit, having won the China PGA Tour Order of Merit.

But he admits football remains his primary love, almost 18 years to the day since he made his professional league debut against his current employers during a loan spell at Halifax.

Parnaby felt that stint with the Shaymen, which saw him win a League Two Player of the Month award, was crucial to his subsequent development into a top-flight professional, playing alongside the likes of Juninho, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and Paul Ince.

As a result, both he and Collins are looking at Parnaby’s potential modern-day equivalents, who could mutually benefit themself and City.

“We’re watching quite a few games - both together and separately - and labelling areas we want to improve with players that we might want to bring in,” Parnaby revealed. “Going to Halifax was probably the best thing I ever did, because I don’t know if I’d have gone on to enjoy all that stuff afterwards without those two months.

“It was great for my development at the age of 17 to be in and around senior professionals. We were at the bottom of League Two at the time, but we went on a really, good run and, now, when we watch under-23 games, we’re looking to see if there are any players we feel we could take and help get them where they want to be.

“We know there are a certain level of players that we won’t get, but we want to get the best we can and the right ones.”

City won that 2000 clash at the Shay, but Parnaby still made his mark, laughing: “I remember smashing Steve Agnew and he had to go off injured.

“He went on to become a coach at Middlesbrough, so we always laughed about that, but my fondest memory of York was that I had my final trial for the National Schools’ team at Bootham Crescent and I got through. Joe Cole was in my age group and he was unbelievable. Danny Webber was in the team as well.”

As City prepare for this afternoon’s FA Cup clash at Blyth Spartans, with a place in the first round proper at stake, their assistant-manager will be stressing, meanwhile, how knockout competitions can lead to lifelong memories.

Parnaby once played in a 1-0 Cup semi-final defeat against West Ham. He also reached the League Cup final twice with Boro and Birmingham, scoring the winning goal for the former in a last-four victory over Arsenal.

Possibly the pinnacle, however, was playing the full 90 minutes in the 2006 UEFA Cup final against Sevilla, even if Boro were beaten 4-0 in Eindhoven.

City’s knockout ambitions, of course, are more modest than those scaled in the past by Parnaby, but he feels the joy that can be derived from a good Cup run, at any level, is proportionate.

“The attitude here for cup competitions should be no different to what it was at Middlesbrough in terms of wanting to go as far as you possibly can and the FA Cup still generates a massive buzz for players in every round,” Parnaby insisted.