LENELL JOHN-LEWIS has admitted that a return to York City was “always going to happen”.

John-Lewis agreed a permanent one-year deal with York on Wednesday, having spent the final four months of last season on loan at City, proving a key part of their Vanarama National League North promotion-winning side, with six goals in the final seven matches, including strikes in each of the play-off ties.

It was revealed that the striker was in talks over a new deal with the Minstermen over a month ago and, despite the wait, a deal was destined to be agreed, John-Lewis said.

“It’s good to be back," said the 33-year-old. "I think it was probably always going to happen and it’s taken a bit longer (to be announced) because I’ve been away.

“But it feels good to be back.

“The club is going in a good direction and the right direction.

"After getting promoted, I wanted to come back and try to progress with the club again.”

John-Lewis is one of the 11 players York have announced as squad members for the return to the National League.

Over the off-season, 17 players have departed John Askey's side and a new-look side will take to the field when the first of five pre-season friendlies commence next Friday (July 8) at home to Middlesbrough (7pm).

“The gaffer has been busy and it’ll be nice when everyone is together on the training ground, although I’ve only had a few weeks off,” John-Lewis smiled.

“It’ll be nice when everyone is together during pre-season and we can get the camaraderie going.

“There’s obviously a lot of new lads, so there will be a bit of gelling together, but I’m looking forward to it.”

York fans will be hoping that John-Lewis can pick up from where he left off and continue his fine end-of-season scoring record.

“For me, I always say that if I play games, I know that I will score goals and my form will come," said the former Grimsby Town man.

“Hopefully I will hit the ground running once the season starts but it’s about pre-season first.”

Asked whether sets any personal goal targets for the season during the summer, John-Lewis replied: “I do and they always stay close to my chest.

“For the club and the team, I want to do well and succeed.”