THE ball is in Josh King's court now to stake a claim in the York City side, interim manager John Askey has said ahead of Saturday's FA Trophy trip to Matlock Town.

King was at the centre of a surprising series of events last week, having gone out on loan to Tadcaster Albion on Thursday, only to return to the Minstermen within 24 hours.

The centre-back's sudden return has worked out well for the Minstermen, however, as regular first-choice central defender Matty Brown will serve a suspension after being sent off in the 1-1 against Chorley last Saturday.

After coming on for the second half to help City to a battling point, King could well be in with a shout to come in in Brown's stead in the second round Trophy tie against Northern Premier League premier division high-flyers Matlock - and that presents the 21-year-old with an opportunity.

Asked about another loan deal for King, Askey said: "We need to keep him within the squad along with Sam (Fielding).

"Nobody will be going out at the moment, unless they're a really young lad. We'll be keeping everybody until January.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a claim for a position," he continued. "It doesn't matter who they are, if they play well, then they'll stay in the team. It's up to him now.

"They say sometimes things happen for a reason and that's the case with Josh."

Meanwhile, first-team hopeful Luke Jones has been sent on loan to NPL east division side Pickering Town with a clear aim.

"He needs to get fitter," commented Askey of his hopes for the striker's loan. "That's one thing I've noticed. I haven't seen a great deal of him.

"I had a word with him and said he needs to work harder. Obviously he's got ability but there's no use having ability if you're not fit.

"Hopefully going out there and playing men's football, he can score some goals.

"Obviously if they don't do that at that level, you're not going to be getting into our first team."