Neal Ardley is now the man in charge at York City and will look to breathe new life into the Minstermen after a slow and disappointing start to the new National League season.
It didn’t take long for York to get their act together and appoint a new man and just over a week since they parted ways with Mikey Morton, who had been in the job since February, they got their man on a three-year deal.
Ardley is no stranger to the league, having had fair-to-good spells at Notts County and Solihull Moors. He was in charge when Notts fell out of the league in 2019 and was close to overseeing an immediate return, but lost out in the playoff final to Harrogate Town.
Having lost his job the following season, it wasn’t long before he was back in the hot seat, this time at Solihull. Again he took his team to the brink of the Football League, only to fall short in the Wembley final, this time to Grimsby Town. He left the club soon after.
Ardley will be most famous for his time at Wimbledon, where as a player he was part of a hugely successful period when the team was playing at Selhurst Park. Although not a mainstay in the side, he was a firm fan favourite, and this bode well when the club was recruiting for a new manager in late 2012.
The club was now in the league after rebuilding through the non-league pyramid, so this was a major challenge, but one he excelled at as he slowly put together a side that went on a great run in early 2016, which eventually landed the last play-off spot, and then an eventual promotion to League One via a 2-0 win over Plymouth Argyle. After a couple of full seasons treading water, Ardley was eventually let go after a run of 10 losses in 12 games in late 2018.
It is this experience, especially at the top non-league level, that York will be relying on as they look to kickstart their season. Matt Uggla posted on X. “First manager I’ve appointed. After getting to know the man I know the club is in very safe hands and he fits the vision and culture we are trying to build! Very exciting times.”
First manager I’ve ever appointed. After getting to know the man I know the club is in very safe hands and he fits the vision and culture we are trying to build! Very exciting times. Thanks so much to Darren and David for helping get this over the line and Lisa too! pic.twitter.com/R9R62q2cX3
— Matt Uggla (@matt_uggla) September 6, 2023
The 51-year-old will need to use all his experience gained so far to lift York away from the early season drop zone, as they are the only team in the league yet to win a game and would be at the bottom if it wasn’t for the points reduction Southend United have received.
After seven games, they have just three points and take on Boreham Wood at home this Saturday. Ardley will urge patience as he gets to grips with new surroundings, but given time he can turn around this proud club. Thankfully it is still early in the season, and if they were to pick up some form, then you really wouldn’t rule out him working his magic and be on the play-off charge very soon.