YORK City have started their pre-season preparations positively, coming back from a goal down to beat Whitby Town 2-1 on Saturday.

There were a good number of fresh faces on the pitch as goals from a trialist and new re-signing Clayton Donaldson overhauled a half-time deficit.

Here are five things we learnt from York's first outing of 2021/22.

1. The larger retained core will give the team a boost...

Not only did last season kick off from something of a standing start, but with more than a dozen new players in their ranks, City were up against it from the off.

At Whitby, it was heartening to see the first-half centre-back partnership of Sean Newton and Matty Brown - the latter a new recruit for last season - looking assured alongside each other on a ground where York underperformed last year on just their second run-out with an overhauled squad.

2. ... and the fans

The squad will take a bit of time to get back up to full speed - which is the purpose of pre-season, after all - but fans still caught glimpses of what they know players can do. To watch Akil Wright striding at pace from a seemingly impossible distance to nick the ball off the toes of Lewis Ritson and almost set up the equaliser was magnificently familiar and a real uplift.

3. More signings are on the cards

Seven trialists took to the field at Whitby, and all will hope to have done enough to earn another few run-outs. Some impressed - a couple of attacking midfielders caught the eye - while some looked a tad lost at times. Bradley Fewster brushed past the right-back rather too easily for the opener.

Assistant manager Micky Cummins said afterwards that he and manager Steve Watson have "a couple" they want to take another look at and some conversations to have.

4. Recruitment has already made an impact

Donaldson might be beyond the age that conventional wisdom considers a footballer's prime, but the 37-year-old most certainly is not. He held the ball up reassuringly well and took his chance with aplomb. Cummins has also waxed lyrical about the veteran's impact off the field.

5. York are in for a better pre-season this year

Last season, the Whitby warm-up fixture was played when the National League North season should have been six rounds old, and just two weeks before the last pre-season game.

There were also no fans at the Turnbull Ground following an 11th-hour safety decision from the host club, who had originally hoped to welcome a limited capacity.

This time, though, the Whitby visit represented the start of a month-long pre-season campaign for the Minstermen - a far more reasonable timeframe in which to get up to speed.

Moreover, they were backed by fans who bought their tickets in advance and were able to watch the match from the sunny Yorkshire coast.

There were still three York players who missed out through being notified as contacts of someone who tested positive but the club is aiming to mitigate against such future disruption by internally encouraging vaccine take-up.

On the evidence, York can be confident that ahead of them is a pre-season of adequate length, of certainty, and of fans. Hopefully they reap the benefits come August 14.