YORK City manager Steve Watson expressed his pride at being able to hand a senior debut to youngster Jonny Haase against Southport.

Haase, who is just 18, came off the bench in the dying stages as York led 3-1 against Southport at the LNER Community Stadium.

The youth team captain had previously featured for the first-team in pre-season but this weekend provided him with a first taste of professional football.

To be able to hand a maiden York City appearance to a promising young talent provided Watson with plenty of personal pride, he explained.

“I love doing it,” said the manager.

“That’s what having a youth system is all about, not just to play games with a York crest on their chest, but for the lads to know that there’s a route into the first-team for them if they’re doing well enough, because they train with us on a daily basis.

“Jonny got his debut with us and hopefully there will be more to come.”

Haase, who came on in place of Mackenzie Heaney at left-midfield, was warmly embraced by his team-mates at full-time.

“We’re a close group and we train together with Tim Ryan’s team,” added Watson.

“I used about half a dozen of Tim’s team on Friday when we were doing a little bit of shape.

“We take interest in them and I go to the games. They’re all good lads and when you see an 18 year-old make their debut, then you’re delighted for them.

“He won a corner for us with his first touch and then he got snapped in half with his second touch.

“(It was an) interesting debut for him.”

Watson may not have anticipated utilising Haase this early in the campaign at the start of the season, but with injuries plaguing the left-side of his defence, a chance has opened up for the teenager.

“He started as a left-back but Tim’s lads tend to play as back five so he’s been playing left-wing-back.

“He came on for us when we played Ossett in pre-season and he was high on the left of a three.

“I think he’s comfortable playing anywhere down that (left) side.

“He’s got incredible energy, he’s brave and he can put a really good ball in when he gets the chance.

“Not having the majority of our left-footers available, Newts (Sean Newton), Scotty (Barrow) and Lewis Cunningham have been injured - and Lewis has only trained a couple of days - so it’s good to have him (Haase) on the bench for that balance.”

This coming weekend York resume their FA Cup campaign when they host Morpeth Town at the LNER Community Stadium for a place in the first round proper, at which stage Sky Bet League One and League Two clubs enter.

On paper, City will once again be the significant favourites.

They face a side sitting 18th in the division below, the Pitching In Northern Premier League premier division, and with just three wins from 13 league matches.

Having rotated his strike force during the previous round against fellow lower tier outfit Whitby Town, Watson was asked whether he will do similar this around.

“When you’ve got four strikers, you’re not putting them in to give them a game, you’re putting them in because they’re all excellent strikers,” he replied.

“It’s not like you’re resting people, you’re rotating to put fresh legs in there and players with proven records.

“Jason (Gilchrist) has got an astonishing record against teams in that league, so that’s something we’ve got to think about.

“The chances are that Clayton (Donaldson) is going to have to step out every now and again.

“I’d much rather it be a cup game than a league game.”

The manager continued: “But with that said, we desperately want to get through to the next round.

“We’ll see how everyone is this week and then we’ll make a decision.”