A TRIO of youth team players have signed their first professional contracts at York City.

Luke Jones, Jack Degruchy and Jonny Haase have all put pen to paper with Steve Watson's side.

The highly-rated youngsters were regulars in the under-19s, managed by Tim Ryan last year, and have been in training with the first team under Watson in the close season. 

Watson is pleased with what he has seen from the three. 

Haase is a left-back by trade while Degruchy joins as an attacking midfielder and Jones makes the step up as a striker.

Watson said: “They are three different positions and three different types of players.

“Jonny has improved a lot with us. We played a friendly against Leeds and he was marking two very good wingers, one of them Jack Harrison, and he did really well – he has come on leaps and bounds. 

"He needs to learn off people like Sean Newton and Scotty Barrow being around them and I think he will turn out to be a great player. 

“Jack is an all-energy and all-action midfielder - quite fearless actually considering he’s not a huge lad, but he will fly into tackles. He just needs to tidy things up and will only improve being around people like (Michael) Woods, Akil Wright and Paddy (McLaughlin).

“Luke reminded me of myself a little bit and made a big kick towards the end (of his scholarship). I was probably the last player signed for Newcastle in my age group as well and Luke impressed us greatly in the last six weeks they were in. He is a strong boy and pre-season will be great for him.

“I wouldn’t think I’d be loaning out these three lads. I want to see them integrated into training with us regularly. If it does happen then it may be the second half of the season – whereas other players, the ones like Archie Whitfield, they would be the sort of age group that would be good for them to go out.”

Haase and Degruchy both come from Knaresborough, where they attended school together, and have car-shared since their arrival at the academy. Striker Luke Jones signs as a local York lad who started his academy journey in the U14s.

Jones has been a regular scorer in the National League U19s Alliance League.

He said: “I’m glad that they’ve given me this opportunity to be able to show the fans what I’ve got and playing for my boyhood club, supporting them since I was young and watching them at Bootham Crescent – it’s a great feeling and can’t wait to get started.”

Degruchy, who has been at the club nine years, said: “It’s what you work towards since being a kid really. 

"I started off at Knaresborough Celtic, my local club, and worked my way up from there.

“I’m a number 10 just behind the striker so I get us moving forward and obviously try and keep my fair share of possession as well.”

Haase added: “Whenever you come through to the youth team you are aiming towards the first team, to train with them and be around them.

"I think I’ve pushed myself and worked hard to finally get here.

“I like to run a lot. I like to think I’m very attacking as well but I also enjoy the defending side of it.

"I think I’ve got a good mix of the both.”

The deals are subject to FA and National League approval.