YORK City goalkeeper Adam Bartlett is among an elite group of players to be inducted into Blyth Spartans’ Hall of Fame.

And, ahead of Saturday’s clash against his old club at Bootham Crescent, Bartlett has admitted he would love to earn similar acclaim with the Minstermen, who he is contracted to until the summer of 2019.

During the last season-and-a-half, City have used seven different shot-stoppers with Bartlett succeeding the likes of Scott Flinders, Luke Simpson, Kyle Letheren, Scott Loach, Jon Worsnop and Bailey Peacock-Farrell between the sticks.

The City faithful are, therefore, still growing accustomed to ex-Darlington net-minder, who will need no introduction to away supporters this weekend, having become a fans’ favourite between 2005 and 2008.

On his Spartans status and career hopes in North Yorkshire, Bartlett said: “Being in Blyth’s Hall of Fame is brilliant.

“I was there for two-and-a-bit seasons with (current City chief scout) Harry Dunn when he was manager. I played 14 or 15 games the first season, because I was waiting to go and play in the US, but I was denied a work permit.

“The team went on to win the Evo-Stik League that season and I played in goal for the next two years in National League North. I was inducted into the Hall of Fame because I was the first-ever Blyth player to get called up to the England C squad.

“It was quite unusual for players outside the Conference to get call-ups back then, because it was an open-age squad, rather than under-23 like it is now. It would be great now to get a rapport going with the York fans because, if you know the supporters behind you trust you, it makes a massive difference confidence wise.

“That’s not something that will come instantly and I know I have to perform on the pitch and build that over time but, the quicker I can do that, the easier it will make my job and I want to be the best player I can be for York City.” Slightly unfairly, given he has only been between the sticks for five of the 14 games City have now gone without keeping a clean sheet, Bartlett is under more undue pressure than might have been the case otherwise to secure his first shut-out for the club.

But he is confident that hoodoo will be broken shortly and is anticipating a meaner City side during the second half of the campaign.

“We should have had a clean sheet against Coalville, but conceded that stupid goal straight from the kick off,” Bartlett argued. “I’ve only been here for five games but, when the results are added on to what has gone on before, the run starts to get on top of everybody.

“We’ve got to look to get that first one and then go on a run of two or three to get that monkey off our back. I think we’ve been a bit open at times, especially when we’re attacking and teams counter us.

“But we’ve worked on that in training and we’ve got a good squad, so things will hopefully come together over the next few weeks and we’ll see a different York City.”

Bartlett went on to admit that runaway leaders Salford provide the barometer for defensive solidity in English football’s sixth tier, with City having only scored two fewer league goals this term despite trailing the Lancashire outfit by 21 points.

“Having a strong defence is the difference at this level and Salford are showing that,” the 31-year-old shot-stopper pointed out. “They’ve only conceded 14 goals, which is incredible.

“They went to Blyth recently and ground out a 1-0 win and they’re sitting very comfortable at the top of the league. They might not put on the prettiest of performances but, at this level with some of the places you go to and pitches you play on, you can’t make excuses – you just have to go and do the job and they have done that.

“We’ve got to do that better than we did at Boston, for example, because, if we don’t, the season won’t end nicely for us.”

Bartlett also believes City would benefit from continuity in selection at the back, having played behind seven different defenders – Daniel Rowe, Hamza Bencherif, Jonny Burn, David Ferguson, Dan Parslow, Josh Law and Alex Whittle – already for his new team.

“Coming to a new club mid-season, you’re trying to get used to players and the lads across the back, but we’re starting to build relationships and learn about each other now,” he explained.

“We’ve chopped and changed and, whilst you have to deal with that as professionals, a settled back four and goalkeeper helps at all levels. You only have to look at the Premier League last season.

“Tottenham had the best defensive record and they played virtually the same back five all season.”

As well as his past knowledge of Blyth, Bartlett was on the receiving end of a 3-1 away defeat against Saturday’s opponents earlier this season and, on the threat they pose, he declared: “They’re riding the wave of coming up from the Evo-Stik last season and will be champing at the bit coming to our place.

“They’re good going forward and a good footballing team. They have a lot of quick, young and energetic players and, then, they’ve got Robbie Dale who has been there for years and I played with him.

“He’s a 6ft 4in beanpole and people expect him to be a Peter Crouch-type who is good in the air, but he stays out on that left side and he’s the complete polar opposite. He can use both feet and go past people either side, so he’ll be a handful if he’s on his game and we’ll have to look out for him and the other forwards Dale Hopson, Jarrett Rivers and Daniel Maguire.

“But they also lost 5-4 at Kidderminster this season, so they can concede as many goals as they score and we were 1-0 up against them with Darlington before we made a few mistakes. They’ll bring a few people down, so I’m expecting a good atmosphere and it should be an exciting game that we can come out on top in.”

Bartlett is aware too of the need to win back the support of a fanbase that is reeling from the threat of another painful season following the horror of back-to-back relegations.

“Making our fans happy is massive as a player and we haven’t done that,” he confessed. “We’ve had two consecutive defeats and we should have never lost at Boston.

“Things haven’t gone well over the last two seasons, so we can completely understand why everyone is frustrated because we’re a full-time club who are nowhere near where we should be in the league. Now, it’s time for us as players and management staff to put smiles back on fans’ faces.

“We’re all thinking about the importance of that all the time because, as a player, you can’t get football out of your mind.”

Whilst he is likely to receive a good reception from Blyth supporters, Bartlett is expecting a more hostile welcome, however, when City visit Darlington on January 6, as part of the exodus of management and playing staff that have made the switch from County Durham this term.

“I might need a tin helmet for that one, but that’s what football is all about,” he reasoned. “Hopefully, we can go into it on the back of a few positive results, because the atmosphere will be good.

“I know what it’s like there and the Tin Shed supporters really get behind the lads. There will be a bit of animosity towards myself, David Ferguson, the gaffer and the management staff who also used to be there, so they will be up for it but, hopefully, that can work in our favour as well.”