York City boss Steve Watson kicked off his summer recruitment programme on Friday with defensive duo Robbie Tinkler and Scott Barrow arriving on free transfers.
Versatile defensive star Tinkler made 30 appearances in the National League with Aldershot Town last campaign, acting as vice-captain for the Shots, but has favoured a move to York after rejecting interest from elsewhere.
Barrow arrives at Bootham Crescent after rejecting a new contract with National League North rivals Gateshead in June – a club where he had spent the last three seasons and captained the side.
Watson managed both players in his time at Gateshead and the Minstermen boss told fans on Friday that he is delighted to be linking up with his new signings again, subject to FA and National League approval.
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Watson said: “If you’ve worked with players before and you’re keen to make them a part of what you are doing it speaks volumes for what I think of them and Micky [Cummins].”
“We are looking at lads who can kick on. We don’t want to be releasing a dozen players every year. What I’m doing is trying to put a squad together to challenge to not only win this league but who I know can compete higher – that’s the aim.
“If you look at what Simon [Weaver] has done at Harrogate, that squad has been together for three, four, five years in the making and they have achieved their goal. I don’t want it to take that long but I want to put a squad together that we can build on going forward.”
Tinkler used the club statement to highlight Watson’s influence in bringing him to North Yorkshire: “It was massive, he was one of the things that did sway the decision,” said the 24-year-old.
“I know what he expects and he knows what he is going to get from me and hopefully we can go on to win the league this year.
? “If you’ve worked with players before and you’re keen to make them a part of what you are doing it speaks volumes for what I think of them.”
“I won’t say anything on position but what I will say is wherever I do play I’m going to work hard, it’s part of my game which is a given, and hopefully we can go forward and I can lead the team whether that’s with or without the armband.”
Barrow said: “It’s a club I wanted to sign for and when I got that phone call it was a no brainer really. It was a big decision; I’ve been at Gateshead for three years and I was loyal – over the years I could have gone elsewhere – it didn’t go quite the way I planned for the coming season.
“York are a massive club and I’m looking forward to the challenge, the one thing I am missing is a promotion and hopefully this year I can get that done.”
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