OUT-OF-CONTRACT attacker Alex Kempster expects York City to be a force in National League North next season and wants to be a part of that revival.

City are currently on course for their second successive mid-table finish at sixth-tier level, but Kempster reckons January’s appointment of Steve Watson as manager and next term’s scheduled move to the new Community Stadium will combine to herald better times.

The 23-year-old forward’s current Minstermen terms will expire at the end of this month, but Kemspter is hoping to illustrate his 2019/20 worth to Watson during the final nine days of this campaign.

“Hopefully, I can show what I can do during the last three games of the season, because I want to finish strongly and, then, see what the future holds,” he declared.

“I’m not thinking too much about that, because I want be focussed on the rest of this season, but it’s always in the back of your mind and I want to be at this club, because I can see what could happen here moving into the new stadium. I really feel we can do well next season and I want to be a part of that.”

The first of that trilogy of contests will see Kempster face a Spennymoor side that he made seven appearances for after he left Bootham Crescent for a loan spell in November.

Accordingly, the former PE teacher has a lot of respect for tomorrow’s fourth-placed Good Friday visitors, adding: “I know them very well and I can see why they’ve done so well this season.

“I had two good months there. They have a lot of players who have been there for a while and the gaffer knows them well, so it was hard to get in their team, but I still learned a lot from the players there like Glen Taylor, as I do from the players here.

“They’ve slipped off a bit recently, but they will want to finish the season strongly. as they’re still in a play-off place.”

Taylor, 28, was one of the players Kempster was competing with for a first-XI spot at Brewery Field. Both are ex-Whitley Bay strikers and the former has now rattled in 29 goals this term, with Kempster warning: “He’s sharp and hard to mark.

“They try to get the ball to him as soon as they can and he can put it in the top corner with his left or right foot, so we have to be aware in that respect, but I feel we have a strong enough team to compete with them, if not win the game.”

Having only managed one FA Cup substitute outing during Sam Collins’ 26-game tenure, Kempster’s Minstermen fortunes have been transformed with no player starting more matches than the 13 he has kicked off during Watson’s 14 fixtures at the helm.

On a mixed 2018/19 campaign, Kempster confessed: “It’s been a bit topsy-turvy. I started strongly under Martin Gray but I got an injury that kept me out for a while and didn’t get the game time I wanted under the previous regime.

“I then went to Spennymoor and didn’t get as much game time as I wanted again, but I enjoyed my time there and it was what I needed, because it gave me the confidence to show the new manager here what I can do. To have then started 13 of the 14 games since the new gaffer has been here, has massively helped my confidence, because you know, if you have an off-game, you can potentially play the next game and put that right, which is what I’ve wanted to do.”

Kempster also admitted that he enjoys the 4-3-3 wide role he has largely been handed by the ex-Gateshead boss, reasoning: “I’ve played all over with Whitley Bay and York, but I feel I’m now playing in a position where I can make a difference.

“I’ve never really been a lone, central striker and, whilst I know I can play there, I would say I can affect the game most if I’m coming off the flanks or from just behind the striker.”

Following an impressive spell on his return from Spennymoor when he grabbed three goals during Watson’s first four games, Kempster’s influence has waned a little in recent weeks with just one goal and no assists in the last ten matches.

But he refutes suggestions that any drop-off in form could be related to his longest-ever run of consecutive matches as a full-time professional.

“I know going from part-time to full-time can be a bit of a chore, but I feel I have coped with it well,” he countered. “I keep myself right with the programme we follow here and I don’t think playing so many games has affected me in matches.

“I wouldn’t want to blame that for the performances when I’ve not played as well. That’s not been down to fitness, as I’m one of the fittest at the club.”