ON-LOAN York City striker George Purcell has been refused permission to play for Eastbourne at Bootham Crescent on Saturday.

City boss Gary Mills took the decision as part of the loan deal that took him from the Minstermen to Sussex.

The ex-Braintree forward is contracted to City next season. Having scored his first goal for Eastbourne during Saturday’s 4-1 home win over Southport, Mills is looking for proof Purcell can be successful at Blue Square Bet Premier level.

He added: “George Purcell picked up an injury when I came here which was unfortunate, but he’s been given the opportunity to get himself fit and play games in this league.

“Now, he is in a situation where he has got to realise what it takes to remain a professional at this level because, every season, a lot of players become available so you have to have total commitment.”

Jamal Fyfield has been issued with a similar challenge after deciding to cut short his loan stay at Maidenhead and battle to win back a first-team place with the Minstermen.

Mills said: “Jamal Fyfield had the option to stay at Maidenhead for another month but wanted to come back and fight for a place during the last two months of the season.

“I saw something I liked in him when I first came here and then other things that I didn’t. I am in a position now where I have to look at players and see if they are ready to match my ambitions for the club, which is playing in the Football League.

“I have to pick a team I think will get us into the top five. That’s not to say Jamal won’t play against Eastbourne because he might.

“Sometimes you have to go out to somewhere like Maidenhead to realise you want to be a York City player.” Chris Carruthers is expected to be fit for Saturday after shrugging off an ankle injury, but Levi Mackin’s return to training following his thigh problem has been put back a further week.

With no midweek match, Mills gave his players the first two days of this week off, explaining: “At this time of the season, it’s more about your mental condition than your physical condition and, sometimes, it’s nice to get away from the training ground to recharge the batteries.”