YORK City midfielder Niall Henderson will return to Ireland after being released by the KitKat Crescent club.

Henderson, 20, is set to sign for Newry City or Finn Harps having reached an agreement over the remaining four months of his Minstermen contract. The former Gretna player was recruited by previous City boss Colin Walker in the summer but has managed only six senior games with two of those substitute outings.

His last appearance came during the 4-2 defeat at Kettering in September and he has not even made the bench for a Blue Square Premier fixture since October 7.

New signings Christian Smith, Simon Brown and Kyle Critchell have seen Henderson fall further down the pecking order for midfield places and City boss Martin Foyle, who has assisted the ex-Northern Ireland Under-19 international in his efforts to find a new club, said: “From our point of view, as a club, we’ve probably let Niall down for games because there’s hardly been any reserve matches since I took charge.

“He needs to play football and I’d rather give him an honest decision now than leave it until the end of the season. In the position we are in, it’s sometimes better the devil you know.

“I know Christian Smith well and he gives us a bit more strength and versatility because he can go into the back four and we need that. Niall didn’t do anything wrong and he’s a decent lad and a decent pro who I wish well.”

Foyle has also helped released City right-back Tom Hirst secure a move to Harrogate Town.