SCHOOLBOY team-mates and old friends Craig Farrell and David McGurk will be reunited in York City colours next season.

Middlesbrough-born pair Farrell and McGurk have both put pen to paper for City, having first played together at the age of ten for Marton juniors the same club responsible for launching the careers of England internationals Jonathan Woodgate and Stewart Downing.

Former Leeds United trainee and Carlisle forward Farrell has joined the Minstermen after being released by Conference rivals Exeter while last season's on-loan Press Player of the Year McGurk has put pen to paper despite being offered a new deal at League Two oufit Darlington.

The two players lined up in the same talented Marton side as Darlington goalkeeper Sam Russell and former City midfielder Marc Salvati and, about his fellow new City signing, McGurk said: "I played together for five years at Marton with Craig and we are good friends.

"He's got lots of pace, a very hard shot and is a good finisher. We've never played together since leaving Marton but have played against each other about five times.

"I've won every time and he's had to come off injured twice and missed a penalty when we played them at York last season but he's always a handful and hard to mark."

Farrell, 23, signed a three-year deal at Carlisle in November 2002 after a successful one-month loan spell from Leeds, where he was behind the likes of Mark Viduka, Alan Smith, Robbie Fowler, Robbie Keane and Nick Barmby in the pecking order for a starting place.

The 6ft striker, who was then 19, scored on his Football League debut for the Cumbrians against Torquay and went on to finish his first full season as the Brunton Park outfit's 14-goal top scorer. In 2003/2004, he netted seven in 23 starts as Carlisle tumbled out of the Football League but then found his chances limited as Paul Simpson's side were promoted at the first attempt via the play-offs.

Farrell struggled to dislodge Karl Hawley and Magno Vieira but still managed three goals in five starts before completing a summer switch to Exeter.

He scored eight in 27 starts for the Grecians last season but hit the post for the visitors from the penalty spot during the Minstermen's 4-2 KitKat Crescent victory in October.

In four seasons as a pro, Farrell has netted 32 times in 93 starts with an additional 41 outings as a substitute.

Of his new recruits, City boss Billy McEwan said: "Craig Farrell is one of a number of players who were on the list of free transfers and he was one of the better ones. He can retain the ball, has a good scoring record and is a good age. We also welcome David McGurk back.

"He had a good season for us and he's another one with potential who is the right age and capable of improving."