NEW York City goalkeeper Adam Bartlett says that playing against the Minstermen is like a “cup final” for a lot of the National League North.

He believes that the club’s reputation means every team in the league will want to beat City, and that it is up to the players to accept that added pressure and to turn up each week.

Bartlett said: “Everywhere that you go at this level is tough, and playing for York City, it’s tough because it’s a lot of people’s cup final as well.

“Everybody knows the size and stature of the club, so you’ve got that immediate pressure put on your shoulders, that there’s an expectancy for us to perform within a game.

“Teams are more up for it than maybe they would be on a general fixture, but we’ve got to deal with that, as players, to make sure that we consistently pick up positive results.

“It’s a massive football club and shouldn’t be at this level. For one reason or another it is, and the plan is to try and get them back to where they should be at the first possible opportunity - that’s got to be this season.”

The 31-year-old goalkeeper has been through a few job changes over the past years – he was full-time at Hartlepool, before joining Middlesbrough as an academy coach. Due to personal circumstances, he had to move on, and he took a job coaching at the Newcastle United academy while also playing part-time at Darlington.

Bartlett is grateful for the support of Martin Gray during the period, and welcomes the step back up to full-time football, training, and the current atmosphere at the club.

He said: “Just on a personal level, things weren’t working out quite as I wanted them to.

“Martin knows a lot about this, and he knows a lot of things that have been going on behind the scenes with me. He’s really been a great support and a great help.

“He wanted me to come here. It’s taken maybe a few weeks longer than maybe we would’ve liked, but I’m delighted to be here.

“Being full-time’s a massive benefit and when you get sessions put on for you day in, day out, you get to keep your eye in. It’s a lot easier to keep yourself sharp.

“I’m just look forward to challenge ahead, getting used to the intensity of things again. Being out on the grass, and having a session put on, that is something I’ve really missed.

"Everything’s positive. There’s been a few new bodies brought in, a few gone out the door, so from our point of view, it’s the first day today.

“From what I’ve seen in the dressing room, it’s a close-knit bunch of players, everybody seems to get along. They’re having a laugh, but at the same time, once they get out on the training pitch, it’s intense and it means something.”

Bartlett has played at Bootham Crescent several times over the course of his career, most recently between the sticks for Darlington in August’s goalless stalemate.

He remarked: “It was intense, to say the least. Backs-to-the-wall first half. I remember thinking you could see the difference (between the sides).

“We had to just grind out the result. It was a backs-to-the-wall job but we got a point, and it was a massive point at the time because we knew we’d just played against one of the best teams, if not the best team, in the league.

“The pitch, everything about it, the crowd, the atmosphere - I’m just raring to get going.”