York City’s teenage goalkeeping prodigy Ryan Whitley is First Team bound

The goalkeeping situation at York City FC is still uncertain after Jon Worsnop and Luke Simpson conceded a combined total of eight goals against League One side Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday in a pre-season friendly.

The Minstermen have not had a stable number one since the departure of Michael Ingham in 2016 and will be looking for a long term solution to this problem.

Introducing Ryan Whitley, only 17 years-old and currently the third choice goalkeeper at Bootham Crescent.

Whitley is a local lad from York and rose up through the youth team ranks to eventually play in the U18’s and Reserve side during the 2016/17 season.

He has previously trained with Manchester City and the England youth set up, plus in 2015 was subject to Premier League interest; reportedly demanding a £200,000 fee plus add ons for York City to let the 6′ 5″ teenager move on.

Mills last week gave a big confidence boost to Whitley in the York Press when he explained that he would be happy to have the youth team goalkeeper as his back up to Jon Worsnop in the first team.

Jon Worsnop in action (www.icephotographyyork.com)

Jon Worsnop was signed from Bradford Park Avenue this summer and has been the shot stopper for The Minstermen in each of their pre season games so far. He is seen as the direct competition for Whitley, however the youngster views his presence as a good thing:

“Worsnop is an experienced keeper who has played for a long time. I can take bits off both keepers to improve myself. They coach me every session and don’t just concentrate on themselves which I think is really good and positive for a young keeper like me.”

He also drew similarities between himself and now transfer-listed Luke Simpson in which he admitted “I’ve known Simpson for about a year now. He has been in a position like me when he was at Oldham so he gives me really good advice.”

A self proclaimed lifelong York City fan, Whitley has been going to Bootham Crescent since he was nine years old and has previously been a season ticket holder, sitting in the Main Stand at home games.

Upon asking about any recent interest from other clubs he replied “There’s been no news to me about deals and offers from other clubs. My dream would be to play for the First Team then hopefully get a move if I play well. Only time will tell but I will have to work hard and keep my attitude right.”

With the gradual inclusion of youth players in the York City first team coupled with the success stories of Ben Godfrey (Norwich City), Jamie Hopcutt (Östersund) and Gabby McGill (Middlesbrough) over recent times you could argue that the National League North is the perfect level to give these hot prospects the platform to develop into first team regulars and Ryan Whitley seems to have the potential to do just that.

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Published by Dan Simmonite

Aspiring sport media professional currently working with Northumberland FA. Also write for the grassroots section of the Newcastle Chronicle.

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