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Greening Delighted To Be Coaching At York (And…He Could Even Play)

York City manager Russ Wilcox would consider registering new development phase coach Jonathan Greening as a first-team player.

Greening who turned 36 on 2 January, started in a new role for the club just prior to Christmas, coaching the 16-18 year-old apprentices however Wilcox admitted that he could be pressed into first-team action if needed.

Since September, he has been turning out for Tadcaster Albion, helping the Brewers establish a impressive lead at the top of the Northern Counties East League table.

Greening who came through the ranks at Bootham Crescent almost 20 years ago and has played for Manchester United, Middlesbrough, West Brom and Fulham, made 13 appearances for Nottingham Forest in the Championship last term.

While Wilcox stressed that Greening has been brought to coach he did not rule out a possible first-team call-up in the right circumstances.

“He has come in as a coach, so that’s his first port of call, but you never know what might happen further down the line,” Wilcox told The Press.

“If we pick up injuries, then we know he’s been a top, top, quality player, who performed at the highest level – so it’s something we could consider in the future but, at this moment in time, he’s come in with a wealth of playing experience that will, hopefully, benefit our youth players.”

Greening who will work alongside academy manager Andy McMillan and development consultant Richard Cresswell admitted that he is delighted to be back with the Ministermen.

“It’s back to where it all began and I am looking forward to helping the young kids get better and trying to get some of them into the first team,” Greening said.

“I am taking over as youth team manager and helping Andy McMillan and Richard Cresswell to produce the next batch of good players.

“It will be the 16 to 18-year-old age group and focusing on their development and making them better players and better people. It’s not just the football skills, it’s the whole thing. I think that’s why I made it in the game. I had a good youth team manager who instilled some good discipline into us all. It helped me become a better player.

“It’s a massive time for these players and two very important years. I have told the lads that you get one crack at it and you have got to give it 100 per cent.

“That’s every day in training and in every game you play because you are always being watched – not just by us as a staff but by other coaches. They might watch a game and see a kid who might take their fancy.

“I think that’s what happened with me when I was young. Manchester United watched a reserve game. I think I scored four against Sheffield United and the rest is history. I am really looking forward to getting my teeth into it.”

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