AT 340 miles, York City might be facing their longest away trip of the season this weekend, but visiting midfielder Luke Summerfield can be forgiven for feeling like he’s right at home.

Summerfield was born nine miles away from Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park ground in 1987 when dad Kevin was playing for the club.

He went on to join the Pilgrims’ Centre of Excellence himself at the age of ten when his father had become youth-team coach.

Summerfield junior subsequently graduated to a first-team debut at the age of 17 in the Championship against Leicester.

In total, he made 91 appearances – all but seven at the second-highest tier in English football – for his home-town club, before eventually leaving in 2011 to end a 14-year association with the Devon outfit.

Naturally, the 26-year-old still retains an affinity with the club but will not let that stand in the way of his desire to end their seven-match winning streak in front of their own fans.

“Wherever you grow up, you take an interest in the local club, especially when you have been involved with them for such a long time as I was,” he reasoned. “I still keep an eye on what they are doing and there’s still a couple of lads down there I keep in contact with.

“My dad worked there as well, on and off while I was in the Centre of Excellence, youth team and the first team, so there will always be a soft spot in my heart for them but things are a lot different now. That’s football and I am going back there hoping to get three points for York City.”

Since leaving Argyle three-and-a-half years ago, Summerfield has only returned once and had to be content with an 80th-minute substitute outing for Cheltenham when their then manager Mark Yates opted to rotate his team ahead of the League Two play-offs that the club had already qualified for.

It was a difficult experience for the ex-Pilgrim, who had started all of Cheltenham’s previous 12 games and would kick off the three subsequent play-off matches too, so Summerfield is hoping he can play more of a part during his latest visit.

“That game with Cheltenham was on the last day of the season before the play-offs,” he recalled. “There were lots of changes that day because players were rested but it was disappointing when I was one of those that didn’t start.

“I was desperate to play and I did get a few minutes at the end, which was nice. Hopefully, I can get more minutes this time, but time will tell.”

Summerfield is yet to start a game under Russ Wilcox following his appointment as manager in mid-October, but his prospects of lining up at 3pm this afternoon received a big boost last weekend when, as a half-time substitute, he helped City come back from a goal down at Hartlepool to secure a 3-1 win.

On that experience and his hopes for a first XI recall, Summerfield said: “I was really pleased to get the call at half-time, because I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to get more minutes.

“I got 45 minutes and we got a good result. It was a good performance from everybody and I have trained well this week, so we will see what the gaffer thinks.

“The lads have been doing really well even though some of the results have not gone for us. We have got a good selection of midfielders and I’ve just had to stay patient and, hopefully, take my chance to keep the shirt.

“If I play, I will do my best to try and get the three points and, if not, I will keep working hard to try and get back in the team.”

Summerfield also insists he is not concerned about the welcome he will be afforded from his old club’s supporters, adding: “I enjoyed my time there and I’m enjoying my time here so, whatever reception I get – whether it’s good, bad, indifferent or nothing – it doesn’t matter to me. I will take it on the chin and just get on with trying to do the business.”

No stranger to punishing treks on the road, the one-time Argyle playmaker went on to point out that his current club’s decision to leave for the south-west at 8am yesterday represented the sensible approach for today’s clash.

“With long distances, you have to prepare as well as professionally as possible and we did it right by travelling the day before the game,” he pointed out. “I’ve been used to that in football because I grew up with away journeys that were always at least two-and-a-half hours at Plymouth and that meant going away on Fridays and getting back home late on Saturday.”

With an average home attendance of 7,295, Summerfield reckons his old team should be operating in a higher division but maintained that there are no sides to fear in League Two.

“I think they are a massive club at this level,” he confessed. “They have a brilliant stadium that is phenomenal for League Two and a great pitch, so playing there is a positive for them.

“They can also get good crowds because they have a great base and catchment area. They were in the Championship when I was there and I don’t see why they can’t get back there.

“But there are big and small clubs in this division and, from what I’ve seen, anybody can beat anybody. They are on a good run but, hopefully, we can end that, because we are fully capable of going there and getting three points.”

Summerfield will not be the only Pilgrim old boy in the opposition’s ranks this afternoon with City’s on-loan, centre-back Stephane Zubar having also played 34 games for the Green Army between 2010 and 2011.

Admitting he was delighted to see his former team-mate arrive in North Yorkshire from Bournemouth, Summerfield said: “We’ve got great competition back there because we have four very strong centre halves now.

“Zubes has done well since coming in and it will be a good day all round with him going back to Plymouth as well.”

Duel of dreadnought defenders

KEITH LOWE and Femi Ilesanmi are locked together at the top of The Press Player of the Month standings ahead of this afternoon's final fixture in November.

Last season's The Press Player of the Year Lowe joined this campaign's front-runner Ilesanmi at the head of the monthly competition having picked up three points as our man of the match following his two goals in last weekend's 3-1 victory at Hartlepool.

The 29-year-old defender also received the two bonus points on offer for that contest after receiving the most man-of-the-match votes in our online poll.

Russell Penn (two) and Marvin McCoy (one), meanwhile, also saw their efforts recognised at Victoria Park with points as our second and third-highest rated performers respectively.

To be in with a chance of presenting the November Player of the Month with his prize - a framed photograph - at Bootham Crescent, please vote for your man of the match from today’s game at Plymouth on this website or tweeting the @daveflettpress Twitter account.

The Press Player of the Year standings: Ilesanmi 16, Lowe 15, Coulson 13, Penn 13, McCombe 10, McCoy 10, Ingham 8, De Girolamo 7, Montrose 7, Straker 7, Summerfield 6, Hyde 5, Fletcher 4, Cisak 3, Jarvis 3, Zubar 3, Winfield 2.

The Press Player of the Month for November standings: Ilesanmi 7, Lowe 7, De Girolamo 5, Hyde 5, Zubar 5, Cisak 3, Coulson 2, Montrose 2, Penn 2, Fletcher 1, McCoy 1.

Goals: Fletcher 4, Hyde 4, Lowe 4, De Girolamo 3, Coulson 2, Penn 1, Winfield 1.

Assists: Coulson 5, McCoy 3, Meikle 3, Penn 2, Carson 1, Hyde 1, Lowe 1, Montrose 1, Straker 1, Summerfield 1.

Bad boys: Penn three yellow, one red; Hyde, McCoy, Montrose all two yellow; Jarvis one red; Coulson, Fletcher, Ilesanmi, Lowe, McCombe, Platt, Straker all one yellow.