JON Parkin can still play a part in York City’s season if he responds well to an increase in training-ground intensity.

The 37-year-old veteran has not played a first-team minute for two months since a second-half substitute outing during the 3-0 National League North defeat at Altrincham on November 17.

Ten games have passed since and he last started a fixture on September 1 when the Minstermen drew 1-1 at Hereford.

But new City chief Steve Watson was assistant manager to Lee Clark at Huddersfield Town when the then League One outfit took Parkin on loan from Fleetwood for two months in 2011/12 and believes last season’s 25-goal top scorer can prove an asset at some point in the remainder of the campaign if he ups his fitness levels.

Parkin scored the first goal in Tuesday night’s 6-1 North Riding Senior Cup victory over Redcar Athletic and went on to play the full match.

A difference of opinion over Parkin being filmed drinking alcohol at an airport on a Sunday morning contributed to his marginalising under previous boss Sam Collins, but Watson is prepared to give the heavyweight forward an opportunity to resurrect his Bootham Crescent career.

“Jon’s a great character and a great player and I’ve had him before,” Watson pointed out. “He’s the type of player who needs to be constantly training and playing and the Redcar game was his first 90 minutes for a long time.

“You could tell that at times so, if Jon is going to be of use to us and play a part this season like I hope he will, we’ve got to get him training at the right tempo every day, so the sharpness will come back.”

Watson went on to reveal that he is happy for striker Jordan Burrow to continue as the team’s skipper but has challenged other members of the squad to demonstrate their credentials for the role.

“I’ve not really made my mind up about the captaincy yet but there’s no reason to change it at the moment,” the ex-Gateshead boss reasoned. “I have an open mind about it and, if I see an outstanding leader who is head and shoulders above everybody else and creating a better environment, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t look at them to have the armband.

“For now, we know Jordan will give us everything and go through a brick wall for us. His preparation will also be spot on, so he’s a great choice, but I’m open to anybody else who wants to take the bull by its horns.”

Watson also confirmed that former captain Sean Newton is now available for selection following the unexplained disciplinary matter that saw him not considered during the final days of Collins’ reign.