YORK City manager Colin Walker has expressed an interest in making trialist Lee Elam his seventh summer signing.

Elam, 31, has been training with the Minstermen for the last two weeks having been released by Blue Square Premier play-off winners Exeter in the summer.

The former Morecambe and Weymouth right-winger will play his second pre-season game for City when Premier League outfit Middlesbrough arrive at KitKat Crescent tonight and, although Walker is in no position to offer him a permanent contract yet, he is not ruling out the possibility of a deal in the near future.

Walker said: “He will come to the game and then we will take it from there. We can’t offer him anything this early but he knows the situation and I’ve been very honest with him.

“He’s been training with us and likes what we do and the way we try to play. His preferred club would be York City and hopefully we can get together and make that happen.”

The City boss has called on his players to begin staking their claim for starting places against Crawley Town on August 9 with the visit of Boro representing the team’s fourth pre-season outing, including Wednesday’s behind-closed doors game at Rotherham.

He said: “Tonight’s match is all about showing the fans the way we want to play, who’s playing and who’s doing well at the moment and that can only be seen in games. They are all doing well in training but now they’ve got to go out and perform on our beautiful pitch.”

Walker has also called on his players not to sacrifice his footballing principles as they face international standard opposition with the likes of Tuncay, Mido and Stewart Downing all expected to figure.

The City boss said: “I think we might be chasing the ball a bit but that’s far better than training and we’ll try to pass the ball when we’ve got it and see what happens. It’s their first game so it will be a warm-up for them and we’re a bit further ahead.”

New striker Daniel McBreen will not feature as he continues his recuperation from a minor knee operation while midfielder Steve Hogg is likely to play despite a slight thigh complaint.

Tickets for tonight’s match cost £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and are available from the ticket office from 9am to 5pm on 01904 624447, although supporters using the David Longhurst and Popular stands should pay at the turnstiles as usual.

Boro have sold all 500 tickets they received in advance and visiting fans will also be able to pay on the turnstiles.

Boro will be managed on the night by former City stalwart Malcolm Crosby, who is Gareth Southgate’s assistant. Southgate is also expected to attend.