STEVE WATSON admitted that the decision to release 13 players from the club was "an awful day", though attentions now turn to building a squad for the new campaign.

Captain Steve McNulty, former skipper Jordan Burrow and long-serving midfielder Adriano Moke were among the 13 players to leave the club having not been offered new deals, while forward Alex Kempster and defender David Ferguson have instead taken up deals elsewhere.

York begun the process of forming a new-look side for the 2020/21 campaign with the signings of defenders Robbie Tinkler and Scott Barrow last week, both players Watson worked with at former club Gateshead.

City manager Watson said: "It's been a tough ten days. It was an awful day on Monday last week (July 27) to have to explain to players that had done really well for me that we were going to go in a different direction this year.

"But once we'd got through that process, it was all about rebuilding and this is the start with two defenders that have worked with me before."

Tinkler arrives from Aldershot Town, with experience in the National League and England C to his name.

Watston added: "Robbie has got great experience considering that he's only 24 and he's had a really good upbringing at Middlesbrough's academy which is a fantastic academy.

"He's had loads of experience in the league above and he was my captain at times at Gateshead along with Scotty who was my other captain.

"He can play in a number of positions as well. I like him as a sweeper, in the middle of a three (man defence), he had some fantastic games for me there.

"He's a real leader and a good reader of the game.

"He's mobile but he's also very accomplished wing-back. We're delighted to get Robbie over the line.

"The players that I'm speaking to are all in their mid-20s, so they should be physically in their peak and they should all (come) with experience."

Barrow meanwhile is expected to replace the departed Ferguson at left wing back.

"Scotty is a very good wing-back so obviously the minute that we realised David (Ferguson) was going to move elsewhere, he was absolutely first on my list," revealed Watson.

"He carries a real threat, he's a bit like Newts (Sean Newton), in that even though he's a centre half, he's still a goal threat.

"I want to fill my team with as many goal threats as possible. We didn't score enough goals from everywhere around the pitch last year.

"That's ultimately where we struggled.

"Scotty scored some fantastic goals for me at Gateshead. He's big, he's quick, he's powerful and he's a got a really good left foot as well.

"Newts might have a little bit of a challenge on his hands for the sweetest left foot at the club!"

Further signing announcements could be made this week, Watson said.

"We were patient last summer," continued the boss.

"Things don't happen in the first week, players have got other options and new players are coming to us all the time, players that a year ago we thought we might never have a chance with.

"When you bring players to have a look round the training ground and the city and the new stadium and they can't help but be impressed by what we're looking to achieve here.

"We're hopeful that by early next week we'll be able to announce two or three more (new signings)."