York City had spent the better part of the last decade languishing in the conference. But thanks to a playoff final victory against Luton at Wembley last season, The Minstermen are back in the football league for the first time in nearly ten years.
Founded back in 1922, York City has spent most of its history in the lower divisions of English football, although they did rise into the old Second Division during the 1970’s.
Historically more successful in the Cups, York saw off title and FA Cup winners Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford in the League Cup during the 1995/96 campaign, and have also gained positive results against the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.
However, in 2004 York lost its League status when they were relegated from the old Third Division, and had stayed there until last season when they finished 4th in the table, qualifying for the playoffs.
And under the management of former Nottingham Forest legend Gary Mills, York climbed back into League Two thanks to goals from Ashley Chambers and Matty Blair in the playoff final.
After the match, striker Blair told BBC Sport: “It feels amazing [to be playing in the Football League next season] but it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
“It’ll properly sink in later tonight or tomorrow when we will be celebrating it again but at the moment I’m a bit tired but I’m the happiest man ever.
“I scored the goal and it feels unbelievable but I’m not taking anything away from the other lads today. The back five, and Daniel Parslow in front, defended like heroes and were brilliant all game.
“We were under the cosh a bit last half an hour and they just stood tall and went ‘right you’re not getting past us’. Luton were always going to put us under pressure after we scored but we stood tall.”
Since that victorious day at Wembley, York have performed admirably this season, and at the time of writing sit 18th in the table, some seven points of the relegation zone.
However, results have taken something of a downturn recently as the Yorkshiremen have conceded eight times in the last two games.
Following the most recent 4-0 whitewash away at Wycombe, Mills told York Radio that his side needs to start turning their form around quickly.
“We’re committing suicide at the moment, we’re giving goals away and don’t look like scoring.
“We’ll get ready for the next one and move on. The players that are at this football club now have to stand up and start winning football matches.”
However, under Mills you would expect for a change in form to happen sooner rather than later, and York should look set to successfully consolidate their league status.
The current York boss became the youngest player to ever play for Nottingham Forest back in 1978, and also became the youngest player to appear in a European Cup final as Forest beat Hamburg 1-0 to lift the trophy.
With over 500 games as professional player, including stints at the Seattle Sounders in the MLS and five years at Leicester, Mills has all the experience necessary to progress The Minstermen.
One other area in which York FC are looking to evolve is off the field. Plans to move to the new York Community Stadium in 2015 look all but concluded, with the club set to leave their home of over 80 years in the form of Bootham Crescent.