YORK CITY SOUTH
Gary Mills (By Neil Rank)
Friday October 21, 2011: City are staying in Surrey before the game at Woking against Hayes & Yeading the following afternoon. The usual M25 Friday evening rush hour traffic meant City's coach was delayed by 90 minutes. On his arrival, Gary offers us his apologies, checks in and rushes straight back to chat to us for over 90 minutes.
A number of York City South fans had the pleasure of meeting Gary Mills in the team hotel on the evening prior to the Hayes and Yeading game. The team were late arriving at the hotel, being held up in traffic on the infamous M25 but all credit to Gary, he got off the coach, dropped his bags in his room and immediately proceeded to give us his undivided attention for the next hour and a half.
A number of questions were posed. Gary revealed that he was very pleased with the speed with which the squad had gelled, and how he had nurtured and engendered a team spirit throughout the club - for instance the first team squad had all attended the recent FA Youth Cup game to support the youngsters. He also revealed the Youth Team now play to the same style as the First Team and was impressed with the quality of the present Youth Team squad. Whilst he would like to see us have a Reserve team to keep the 'non-playing' members of the first team sharp and nurture the Youth Team players he appreciated financial restraints precluded this.
He was also very pleased with Jason Walker, whom he feels deserves to play in the Football League, hopefully with York City FC, and let it be known that he had tried to sign Jason when he [Gary] first arrived at Bootham Crescent. Alas details of the deal were made public leading to Luton making a much higher and successful bid for him. Gary did however continue to monitor the situation and this determination eventually reaped its rewards.
Challenges included keeping all the players happy, particularly those not getting a game on a regular basis. When asked if he would adopt a squad rotation system, particularly for the cup games, Gary revealed that it was his intention to win every game with progress in the FA Trophy being potentially financially more rewarding than the FA Cup. He was very pleased with Jon Challinor's improvement since he arrived at the club, particularly his improved fitness levels, and was also very complimentary re the attitude of a number of players who, due to various circumstances, were unable to even get a place on the bench.
As regards potential new signings, Gary revealed that although regular scouting was undertaken he would only sign a player whom he felt would improve the present squad. He is very pleased with the quality of the present squad and so any new player would have to be one who could 'walk straight into the first team'.
Gary stated that he fears no team in this league and it remains his key objective to take York City FC back into the Football League. A man who obviously loves the club, and a lover of Bootham Crescent, he appreciates that a move to a new stadium is crucial to the ongoing development and future of the football club as a whole. Interestingly the result which has given Gary the most satisfaction thus far this season was the 1 - 0 win against Bath City, which halted a run of poor results and set the team nicely on a run of only 1 defeat in 10 games.
Gary in closing the meeting, thanked York City South for their continued support, which he and the players very much appreciated, and then left us to enjoy the pleasures of the hotel bar whilst he 'retired' for his much deserved evening meal.
The meeting was at the Hilton Cobham hotel at Seven Hills Road South Cobham KT11 1EW, United Kingdom. Thanks to Neil for his recollections of the evening.