DEFENDER Sam Sanders has expressed gratitude at the fact he has “learnt a lot” since arriving at York City.

The 20-year-old came to the LNER Community Stadium in February on loan from Nottingham Forest, having played several games in the Premier League 2 for their under-23 side.

Since arriving at York, Sanders has featured in nine Vanarama National League North games, playing 90 minutes in many of City’s most recent games due to injuries in the defence.

“I’ve learnt a lot.” enthused Sanders, reflecting on his time with the Minstermen so far.

“I came here wanting to grow in the game of football.

“Being here has been amazing, I came here a bit optimistic, got my chance and I’ve learnt a lot from the likes of Matty Brown, Scott Barrow, even Michael Duckworth when I was playing with him.

“It’s brilliant to look at the careers they’ve had and learn from them, so then I can implement what they’ve used into my career.”

Sanders came to York in the midst of their 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

Though their form faltered slightly when that run came to an end, City did enough to remain in the top seven, confirming a place in the play-offs with their recent win over AFC Fylde.

“We’re absolutely buzzing,” implored Sanders.

“I came in when York were flying and had a few games winning.

“We were in and around the play-offs then, and to finally secure that play-off place, that’s what I came in to try and help the lads achieve.

“They were already on their way to achieving that. I think all the lads are delighted, knowing that they’re going to play-offs.

“We’re just trying to go into this last game, get as high as we can and get a home tie.

“A home tie would be ideal, we had 4,300 fans on Monday (against Fylde).

“To have a home tie, we’d probably get more than that. To have the home fans behind us, it’s a lot better than being at Chorley and not having as many fans.”

York will finish their season with a trip to Telford on Saturday (3pm), who themselves have survival to play for.

Should they lose their match against City and Guiseley go on to win against Alfreton Town, then it would be Telford that are relegated.

“It’s important to everyone, but I think it’s more important to us because, like I said, we’re trying to get that home tie for the play-offs,” said Sanders.

“To have that would help us in trying to get through to the semi-finals.

“You can’t really say it’s important to one or the other, staying in this league for Telford is massively important, but for us, we want that home tie.

“Even though we’re (already) in the play-offs, it’s still like a cup final to us.”

It is certain that City will play Chorley in the play-offs, but the final game will decide whether York will play the tie at home or away.

Regardless of how York do in the play-offs, Sanders had nothing but praise for the time he has spent with the team.

“I think what I’ve learnt the most here is that you have to be patient, keep grinding in training and giving 100-percent every day,” Sanders insisted.

“Once you get your chance, you can’t give up and let off, there’s still a long way to go to keep yourself in the team.”

“Some people might look down on coming to the National League North, but it’s a great league. You get games you play football in, like against Fylde.

“You get games like Farsley and Kettering, where they do play football but sometimes it’s route one.

“You learn both sides of the game, the scruffy side and the side of play.”