MANAGER Steve Watson has praised his York City players for rewarding his trust over the close season.

At the end of last term, Watson sent his charges off for summer without too much instruction - only that they return "as fit as they need to be".

The early indications are good for the City players, who took on the responsibility of self-regulating and have made a good start to the first two days of pre-season.

"Some look trimmer than before they left," Watson joked.

"Ultimately we've got to remember we're a National League North club with no dietician and no sports scientist.

"We put our trust in them to look after themselves, and that's what they did.

"They all look great, they all look fit."

The first two days have gone without a hitch, Watson says, apart from the players feeling the usual after-effects of intensifying training.

For the handful of younger players joining Watson at the club's Wigginton Road training ground, he admits this might be a bit more challenging.

But they are in good company, with long-serving players like Sean Newton, Steve McNulty, Andy Bond and Paddy McLaughlin balancing the experience scales.

Watson said: "We've got three or four young lads training with us, which will do them the world of good.

"Everybody's come through with no problems apart from being tired, stiff and sore.

"You can go for as many runs as you like before pre-season but it doesn't prepare you for the twisting and turning you do in training.

"There are a couple of lads whose first pre-season this will be and they'll probably find it a surprise day-to-day.

"Others will be used to the rigours - but they'll probably still never enjoy it.

"It's a good mix."