Gary Mills returned to York City in October 2016 with the Minstermen hovering above the National League relegation zone. Tasked with the job of guiding City away from successive relegations, Mills wasted little time in making the squad at Bootham Crescent his own.
Bringing back former favourites Adriano Moke, Jon Parkin and Daniel Parslow amongst others to the Club, Mills also renewed City’s style of play in the hope of recreating the success he endured in his first spell in North Yorkshire, where he guided the Minstermen to a Wembley FA Trophy and play-off final double.
In his playing days, Mills was a combative yet versatile midfielder who could also play in defence. At Nottingham Forest, he played under Brian Clough and became a European Cup winner in 1980 under the legendary coach.
Mills moved Stateside with the Seattle Sounders in 1982 but returned to England with a loan spell at Derby County before returning to the City Ground in 1983, where he would go on to spend a further four years of his career before departing for City rivals Notts County and then Leicester City, where he would go on to make 200 league appearances. Another stint with County followed before Mills went on to play for the likes of Grantham Town and King’s Lynn in the latter stages of his career, retiring from the game in 2010 when already manager of Tamworth.
From there, he was given a chance with a professional club in the form of York Cty and his first match came on 16th October 2010, exactly six years before his return to the Club was announced. He took the Minstermen from 16th to eigth in his first season before guiding the Minstermen to League Two via the play-offs the following campaign with a 2-1 final victory over Luton Town under the Wembley arch. A strong start to City’s first Football League campaign in nearly a decade was deterred by an 11-game winless run which saw Mills depart Bootham Crescent.
He returned to management the following season with Gateshead and guided them to the 2014 National League play-off final, but could not repeat the success he had experienced with York City, losing 2-1 to Cambridge United. After leaving the Gateshead International Stadium, Mills took the reins at Wrexham, but was unable to guide the club out of mid-table and was relieved of his duties in October, just three days before he made his welcome return to North Yorkshire.
Craig Hinchliffe has been a near-permanent member of Jackie McNamara’s backroom team since he became a player/coach at Partick Thistle in the 2010/11 season, and joined York City as goalkeeping coach in December 2015.
The former goalkeeper had a sterling 22-year playing career across several teams in Scotland, including eight years with Arbroath.
He brings a wealth of playing experience to his role with the Minstermen, and will look to continue the history of success with McNamara and Simon Donnelly at the helm.
The longest serving staff member at the Club by some distance, Jeff Miller is entering his 29th season as York City physio, and whilst the hair may have gone, the passion and commitment to the Minstermen has not altered!
Previously combining physio work in local non-league with other roles, Miller has been on the bench for the glorious times such as the 1993 League Two Play-Off Final, the 3-0 victory at Old Trafford and the double triumph of 2012, as well as the sad times such as the tragic death of David Longhurst on the pitch in 1990.
His ability to help players return from injury and back to fitness will be as vital as ever to City manager Jackie McNamara for the remainder of the season and beyond.