FORMER York City winger Ashley Chambers is hoping to steer clear of ex-team-mate Femi Ilesanmi when he faces his old club this afternoon.

Both players shared a dressing room at Dagenham & Redbridge last term before left-back Ilesanmi joined the Minstermen in the summer and Chambers made a permanent transfer to today's Sky Bet League Two hosts.

Following Ilesanmi's signing, City flank pair Michael Coulson and Josh Carson both expressed their relief that they would be lining up alongside, rather than against, the 6ft 1in full-back this season.

Chambers - a Wembley hero during the Minstermen's historic 2011/12 play-off and FA Trophy final double - will also approach a potential direct battle against the Southwark-born defender with a touch of trepidation, admitting: "I will be trying to stay as far away as I can from him.

"He's one of the biggest full backs I've ever played with and a really nice lad, who was good to me when I signed for Dagenham. The lads have told me he has made a good start to life in York and he will be looking forward to the game.

"He's a good, strong player and it will be a tough match-up if it happens, although I'm not sure what the team will be."

Chambers failed to make a single appearance under Nigel Worthington from mid-September to January last season before leaving for Cambridge United.

He had been the Minstermen's leading marksman with ten goals during the previous campaign - the club's first back in the Football League - but he will not be motivated by a desire to prove Worthington wrong at the Victoria Ground.

He said: "I never bear grudges and I've got nothing to prove. He knows what sort of player I am.

"I know I am a good player, but football is all about opinions. I wasn't going to fit into his style of play, so you move on and go where somebody else will give you a chance.

"People change football clubs all the time. That's football, but I will always have fond memories of my time at York City.

"A lot have faces have changed since I was there, but there are still a few remaining and it will be very strange and a bit surreal pulling on the red shirt of Dagenham, instead of the red shirt of York, because it will be the first time I've faced York since I left. I will be doing my best though to secure three points for Dagenham."

Both clubs currently find themselves in the division's bottom six, but Chambers believes his new club and old employers can climb the standings in coming weeks, reasoning: "It's still early days.

"We've not got too many points on the board but we've performed reasonably well in every game, apart from maybe one or two. We have played some really good football but, disappointingly, we have conceded too many goals.

"We are working hard to rectify that, though, to get some clean sheets on board. After the run during the second half of last season, it's a bit surprising that York's season hasn't really kickstarted yet, but I am sure they are still fighting hard to get where they deserve to be."

Chambers scored his only goal for the Daggers in a sensational 6-6 Capital One Cup draw with Brentford last month, but confessed he does not expect another 12-goal thriller against the Minstermen, adding: "That was a complete one-off and I don't think I will ever be involved in a match like that again.

"I am sure Nigel Worthington would have no hair left if that was the score because that kind of result is not his style at all. I think it will be a tough fixture for both teams."

The ex-England under-19 international is yet to open his account in 16 league appearances for the Daggers but is unfazed by that record, explaining: "I fancy myself to score every week.

"It would be very strange to do so against York and, if i don't, I will just keep trying in the weeks to come."

Chambers returned to non-League football with Cambridge during the second half of last term, either side of a loan spell with the Daggers.

He was soon back plying his trade at the same level as the club he left, however, having been an unused substitute in a play-off final victory over Gateshead with Cambridge before signing for Dagenham.

On his fortunes since departing Bootham Crescent, he said: "Initially, I didn't mind dropping into the Conference again but, after a few weeks, I realised it wasn't a great place to be. Luckily, we got promoted at Cambridge and then Dagenham were willing to take me in the summer.

"It's good to be back in the Football League. It's where you want to be and you want to play as high in it as you possibly can."

Nevertheless, Chambers' Cambridge switch did see him participate in another great occasion at the famous home of English football.

On his latest play-of triumph, he recalled: "It wasn't quite the same as at York when I'd gone through all the highs and lows of a whole season, but I was glad that I'd gone back to Cambridge and played a few games before the final because it felt that I'd played my part then. I didn't get on the pitch at Wembley this time but I still hold it as a great memory and have got the winners' medal to show for it."

Chambers did, however, have sympathy for defeated Gateshead boss Gary Mills - his City manager during those memorable nine days in May.

"I was a little bit sorry for him," the 24-year-old attacker revealed. "Like he did at York, he has got Gateshead playing brilliant football but, on the day, Cambridge were too strong for them.

"But they have had a good start to this season and it wouldn't surprise me if he gets back into the Football League, either through the play-offs or by automatic promotion."


• SKIPPER Russell Penn has moved to within a point of The Press Player of the Year leader John McCombe.

The combative midfielder was our star man after scoring his first goal for the club in Saturday's 3-2 home defeat to Southend, earning three points towards the standings in the process.

Jake Hyde (two points) and Marvin McCoy (one) were also recognised for their efforts as our second and third-highest rated players respectively.

The two Player of the Month bonus points went to Hyde after he polled the most man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website and followers of the @daveflettpress Twitter account.

To be in with a chance of presenting The Press Player of the Month for September with a framed photograph at Bootham Crescent, vote for your man of the match from today’s game at Dagenham & Redbridge by visiting our website at or by tweeting @daveflettpress

The Press Player of the Year standings: McCombe 10, Penn 9, Coulson 7, Lowe 7, Straker 7, McCoy 6, Summerfield 6, Ingham 5, Ilesanmi 4, Fletcher 3, Hyde 2.

The Press Player of the Month for September standings: McCombe 7, Fletcher 5, Ingham 5, Penn 5, Hyde 4, Lowe 4, Ilesanmi 3, McCoy 3, Coulson 2, Summerfield 2.

Goals: Fletcher 3, Hyde 2, Lowe 2, Coulson 1, Penn 1, Winfield 1.

Assists: McCoy 3, Coulson 2, Meikle 2, Hyde 1, Straker 1, Summerfield 1.

Bad boys: Hyde, Penn both two yellow; McCoy, Platt, Straker all one yellow.