Left-back Mark Robinson parted company with York City this week after two seasons at Bootham Crescent. The 27-year-old defender tells DAVE FLETT of his anguish after failing to figure in the FA Trophy final at Wembley.

YORK City full-back Mark Robinson left KitKat Crescent this week with his memories of the club forever tarnished by Wembley misery.

Robinson, 27, was one of only three players to complete every minute of every round in the Minstermen’s march to the FA Trophy final.

But, during Saturday’s showcase final against Stevenage, the former Hartlepool defender was forced to watch from the bench as his team-mates slumped to a 2-0 defeat on the hallowed turf.

For the amiable Robinson, it was a bitter pill to swallow, having even been chosen to promote the club’s commemorative purple shirt during the run-up to the game.

About his Wembley woe, the Guisborough-born left-back said: “I got a phone call from the chairman about promoting the shirt and he said I was one of the longest-serving players and congratulated me on how I’d been doing over the past few months. He told me he could think of nobody better to promote the shirt.

“To be then left out at Wembley tarnished the whole thing. I was a bit disappointed that Pej (Shaun Pejic) took my place at left-back because he’s a centre-half, but he has done well and I felt he was the man of the match at Wembley.

“I could also see where the manager was coming from with the substitutions he made because he probably wanted to make changes that might get the side a goal, but it’s still disappointing having played every minute of every other round.

“I knew there were a couple of places up for grabs in the team and showed a good attitude playing in the last reserve game. I then thought I had a decent game at Lewes when I set up the goal.

“To be honest, though, when I knew it was a straight choice between Simon Rusk and me that kind of took the shine off as well, as it did for my family and friends.”

Robinson also feels deflated by his release, having been a virtual ever-present before losing his place to Pejic in the final month of the season.

He added: “I feel playing 45 games almost warrants a new contract because I must have been doing something right to keep getting selected. Our defensive record was promotion material and surely I played a part in that.

“There are a few lads disappointed and, from my point of view, I’ve played 90 games in two years despite breaking my leg last season. The gaffer said he wanted to change things and freshen the place up, but also said I’d been a credit to myself playing so many games.

“He went on to say that I was one of the best footballers technically and I thought you would want that type of player on the greatest stage at Wembley. It was a bit weird to hear the gaffer talking about how good I was when I was being released, but I wish him all the best.

“We didn’t leave on bad terms and I think he’s a nice bloke who I got on well with. He’s also said he will try and sort me out so hopefully, as one door closes, another one will open.”

Robinson, who kicked off his career at Hartlepool in 1998, has clocked up more than 300 senior appearances, including during other spells at Scarborough, Hereford, Stockport and Torquay.

North-east based former City team-mate Richard Brodie has already informed him that Blue Square Premier new boys Gateshead might be interested in his services and the 5ft 9in defender is determined to stay in the professional game.

Having hoped his future lay in North Yorkshire, however, free agent Robinson has not been exercising his right to talk to other clubs over the last five months.

He said: “I’d like to stay at Conference level and still think I could do a job in League Two because there’s not a lot of difference between the divisions.

“I’ve not spoken to anybody over the last few months because I’d played all those games for York and thought I’d be getting something. I didn’t want to go anywhere else.

“A few of the lads have phoned me and a couple of managers have already found out. Brodes has told me Gateshead will be interested and Greavesie’s (Mark Greaves) said people will think it’s a bit weird that I’ve played 45 games and been let go.”

Robinson now hopes long-time, left-back protégé Andy McWilliams, who has been retained by City, can fill the role he has vacated and also believes close pal Adam Boyes, who he mentored last season, is capable of further progress in 2009/10.

“I travelled in with Macca on Monday so it was a bit awkward when he got a contract and I didn’t,” Robinson admitted. “But he’s been one of my best mates all season and the last thing I said to him was ‘I want to see you make that left-back position your own next season’. Bosh (Boyes) is gutted I’ve left and the gaffer has thanked me for everything I’ve done with him. He’s come out of his shell and I was told I can take a lot of credit for that. I’m sure he will go on to further his career.”

Looking back at the campaign, Robinson also pinpointed the loss of Martyn Woolford, in particular, and midfielders Nicky Wroe and Manny Panther as a major factor in the side’s struggles.

He said: “In my first season, we had the likes of those players but struggled a bit defensively. This season, we tightened up at that end but I don’t think we ever replaced the midfielders.

“We won our first two games and drew the next six. Well, Woolly could have won all those games for us.”

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Was York City manager Martin Foyle right to release Mark Robinson?