VETERAN Aussie Simon Miotto has been signed to challenge Michael Ingham and Josh Mimms for a place between the sticks for York City.

Miotto, 40, will fulfil a duel role at Bootham Crescent with manager Martin Foyle asking him to continue with the first-team ’keeper coaching duties he has performed at City’s last two games against Ebbsfleet and Luton.

His employment will also allow Pete Glanville, previously tasked with that job, to concentrate his efforts on the youth team and Centre of Excellence stoppers.

Tasmanian-born Miotto has played in Denmark for the last five years after previous spells on these shores with Blackpool, Hartlepool, Scunthorpe, Raith, St Johnstone and West Brom.

He is currently living with City winger Adam Smith – an old friend – and also knows youth-team coach Steve Torpey from their playing days together at Scunthorpe.

Having played Torpey at the end of last season and previously persuaded assistant Andy Porter out of retirement when the pair worked together at Port Vale, Foyle told the Diary he would have no qualms about calling on the latest member of his coaching staff should City require his services between now and the end of the season.

Foyle said: “Simon will go down as our third-choice ’keeper because you never know what’s around the corner. We have been going along quite nicely but there’s always a chance something might go wrong at some point.

“Now is an important time of the season to add cover. We’ve had the chance do that and brought on board a respected goalkeeping coach at the same time.

“He’s 40 but looks 33. He trains hard and he’s not come here just to be our number three.

“He’s fit, the right weight and wants to make a go of things in this country again. He will be coaching and pushing the other two for their places.

“With his experience, he will also study their games and give me a run-down on them. He will bring enthusiasm and he is a real character – an eccentric, but nice with it.

“He is also another member of staff to bounce ideas off and bring his own input. Pete Glanville has done a fantastic job and will carry on with the youth team.”

Sentinel McGurk takes advantage of Brodie’s forced exile

DAVID McGurk has leapfrogged top scorer Richard Brodie at the top of The Press Player of the Year standings.

The ex-Darlington defender was awarded two points towards the standings as our second-highest rated player during last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Ebbsfleet, in which Brodie was sent off.

Our man-of-the-match Luke Graham (three) and Levi Mackin (one) picked up the other points.

Against Luton on Tuesday, the points went to man-of-the-match James Meredith (three), Michael Rankine (two) and Alex Lawless (one).

Mackin and Lawless were awarded the two bonus points for our Player of the Month contest after receiving the most man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website for the Ebbsfleet and Luton games respectively.

To be in with a chance of presenting the next Player of the Month with his prize on the pitch at a City home game, register your man-of-the-match vote>> The Press Player of the Year standings: McGurk 31 points, Brodie 30, Rankine 20, Ingham 17, Mackin 16, Ferrell 15, Lawless 15, Parslow 15, Purkiss 13, Barrett 12, Graham 12, Meredith 12, Sangare 12, Gash 6, Carruthers 5, Smith 4, Boyes 2, Nelthorpe 2, Mimms 1.

The Press February Player of the Month latest standings: Mackin 7, Graham 6, McGurk 5, Rankine 4, Lawless 3, Meredith 3, Ingham 2, Parslow 2.

Goals: Brodie 27, Rankine 7, Gash 6, Barrett 3, Pacquette 3, Carruthers 2, Sangare 2, Smith 2, Ferrell 1, Lawless 1, Purkiss 1.

Assists: Lawless 9, Brodie 7, Rankine 6, Smith 5, Ferrell 4, Purkiss 4, Barrett 3, Carruthers 3, Meredith 3, McGurk 2, Sangare 2, Parslow 2, Gash 1, Graham 1, Ingham 1, Mackin 1, Nelthorpe 1.

Bad boys: Brodie 10 yellow cards, 1 red; Ferrell 8 yellow; Meredith 1 red, 5 yellow; Mackin 6 yellow; Barrett 5 yellow; Lawless, McGurk both 4 yellow; Carruthers, Ingham, Rankine, Smith all 3 yellow; Graham 2 yellow; Pacquette 1 red; Gash, Nelthorpe, Parslow, Sangare all 1 yellow.

Harmony for Hardstaffs as honours even

Tuesday night’s home clash with Luton provided a diplomatic result for one Osbaldwick household.

A 0-0 draw ensured the Hardstaff family remained undivided following the important meeting of fellow play-off contenders.

Nine-year-old Lord Deramore School pupil Harry Hardstaff was the Hatters’ mascot for the game with his City-supporting mother and grandfather having failed in their attempts down the years to persuade the Fulford Juniors goalkeeper to switch his allegiance to Bootham Crescent.

Mum Jane inherited her love of City from her dad Malcolm Huntington, who covered the club during four decades as a reporter for The Press, but, with Harry’s father Robert a lifelong Luton fan, the pair were fighting a losing battle.

“It was a tremendous night and a diplomatic result for our family,” Jane said. “My dad tries to convert Harry all the time and I was sat there cheering on City with Harry’s friend, while my husband and daughter were rooting for Luton.

“He gets a bit of stick from his friends, living in York and supporting Luton, not just from City fans but the bigger teams as well, but he’s stayed loyal to the Hatters. He was really excited on the night and it was great for him to meet both sets of players.

“The club looked after him really well and Louise Jackson and Colin Sanderson were particularly nice and helpful.”

Duo go to Pock

Michael Rankine and David McGurk will be guest speakers at the next Pocklington Minstermen meeting on March 10.

The City pair will be available to answer questions from 7.30pm at Pocklington Town FC with the bar opening half-an-hour earlier and admission is free.