VETERAN goalkeeper Paul Musselwhite is not interested in ousting York City stopper Michael Ingham from his place between the Bootham Crescent sticks.

But the former Scunthorpe, Port Vale and Hull number one, who turns 43 in December, insists that he will be ready should City chief Gary Mills need to call on him after joining the club in a player/goalkeeping coach role.

Musselwhite has spent the last two seasons at Lincoln City in the same capacity but his services on the pitch were only required once – as a 67th-minute substitute against Southend last October.

About his new challenge, the 6ft 2in tall ’keeper said: “I’m definitely not looking to prise the ’keeper’s shirt away from Michael and I see myself as a goalkeeper coach who can come in if needed. I did that at Lincoln where I was the substitute ’keeper for most of the games over the last two years.

“I will be ready if required but there should be no other reason for me playing than if Michael gets injured.

“If that happens, then I will leave the decision up to the manager as to whether I am capable of staying in or the club looks to bring somebody else in.”

Musselwhite’s arrival has led to the departures of previous goalkeeper coach Andy Leaning and second-choice stopper David Knight, as Mills looks to kill two birds with one stone.

Former Histon ’keeper Knight spent most of the previous campaign inactive with City unattached to a reserve league.

Mills intends to address that problem with more behind-closed-doors fixtures next season and Musselwhite believes his lack of senior outings over the last two years should not be a concern, saying: “I’ve enjoyed coaching for the last couple of years but still enjoy the playing part too.

“I’ve played nearly all the reserve games at Lincoln over the last two seasons and I believe the most important thing is to keep training every day.

“There were a couple of situations at Lincoln where loan ’keepers were brought in and then you become more of a goalkeeping coach.

“I managed to keep myself fit by going out running and doing bits and pieces but you need to keep training really and playing reserve games helps.”

Musselwhite is also looking forward to developing a strong working relationship with Ingham, who first caught his eye more than eight years ago.

“I played against him when I was at Hull and he was on loan at Darlington from Sunderland,” he recalled.

“That’s the only time I came across him and I’ve told the gaffer here that he probably had one of the best games I’ve ever seen any ’keeper have in my whole life.

“They beat us 1-0 in the last game at Boothferry Park and he had a ‘worldy’. He kept everything out we threw at him and somebody like that sticks in your mind.”

The Portsmouth-born coach added he feels City are in a stronger position to target success in next season’s Blue Square Bet Premier than his former employers Lincoln, newly relegated from League Two.

He said: “There was an opportunity to stay at Lincoln. The manager offered me a contract but was waiting to see if they could get the ’keeper there to leave.

“That is unlikely, though, because he has another year left on his contract and is on a lot of money for Conference football.

“Once I found out York were interested, from my experiences here in the past I knew I would be joining a good club with a good crowd.

“Last season, the club looked like they could get in the play-offs towards the end of the campaign and we will be expecting to do well again to be there or thereabouts next season.

“Lincoln and the manager there have got a few big problems. They’ve only got four or five players under contract for next season and the budget is being cut massively.

“I think it will be a struggle for them to put together a squad capable of mounting a challenge next season. York are certainly better equipped.”