YORK City boss Steve Watson is hoping "tomorrow will be the first of many great days" as his side prepare for the first fixture at their new home.

Following their move from Bootham Crescent, the Minstermen are set to welcome AFC Fylde to the LNER Community Stadium (7pm) for what the club and fans want to be an auspicious debut performance.

The fixture is down as a home game - but with York's home now being in unfamiliar environs, City will be only as familiar with the ground as visitors Fylde.

Asked if it feels like a home game, Watson said: "I suppose it's difficult to tell until we're actually in there.

"It's a completely unique experience. We're going into a new stadium that should, for all intents and purposes, be to a home advantage but none of us have been there, none of us have been on the pitch, we've not had a training session on there.

"I read something earlier in the week, somebody posting online that we've not put any videos of us training there online - there's a reason!

"It's completely unique but a lot of this season's been a first time for a lot of things. We've just got to take it in our stride.

"It's going to be our new home so tomorrow will be the first of many great days there, hopefully."

It is a move that has been years in the making. The false dawns and delays of the past few months have been a microcosm of City's house-hunting frustrations.

The complex opened to the public in December and York were given an opening fixture date of January 19 against Gateshead.

This was postponed because of positive Covid cases at City so the first game was pushed back to January 30 against Curzon Ashton, which landed in a two-week period of suspension to Step 2 league activity imposed the week before.

The first home game after that period was to be against Farsley Celtic - who flatly refused to play, thus granting the honour of the first match at the Community Stadium to Fylde.

For Watson and many of the players, the promise of a new playing facility was a real draw when coming to the club.

"The stadium just became part of the overall package of a fantastic opportunity," Watson explained. "Certainly the stadium, the size of the club, the city itself and the fanbase, it was all a great project for a youngish manager to take on.

"For a lot of these players who came in the summer, the stadium was a big draw to them as well. They're all massively looking forward to it.

"There are two or three York lads in there as well - Woodsy (Michael Woods), Ducky (Michael Duckworth), Rob Guilfoyle and a couple of the goalies, they know the history of York and they've been waiting on this as long as the fans have. They're fans themselves so they'll be dying to get going in the new stadium."

Only Josh King and Akil Wright are likely to be missing tomorrow. Wright trained on Monday for the first time in three weeks.