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McReady leaves Quakers for the Minstermen
John McReady joined York City from Darlington yesterday, bringing an end to nearly a decade with Quakers.
The 19-year-old from South Shields has moved for an undisclosed fee, which is understood to include a sell-on clause, and as part of the deal both clubs are due to play a friendly next summer.
They were unable to come to agreement on arranging a match over the next few weeks.
Playmaker McReady was a mainstay in Darlington's side last season with his form attracting the attention of a number of clubs from higher divisions.
Arguably his finest display was in January against York when he scored Quakers' second goal and was the best player on the pitch during a 2-2 draw at the Arena.
He said: "There was interest from other clubs, but York seemed like the club that most wanted me. I met the manager, Gary Mills, and everything he had to say was really promising.
"He said he'd watched me on a few occasions and he had a laugh about me scoring against them.
"It's been in the back of my for a while, what was going to happen to Darlington.
"In terms of my career choice it was an easy move, but it's so hard to leave Darlington because I'd been there for nine years and met a lot of people. Although there's been more downs than ups, I've loved every minute."
Darlington chairman Denis Pennigar said: "John McReady is a young man who has a long and potentially lucrative career ahead of him as a professional footballer, all at Darlington wish him well.
"We will be following his future career with interest."
McReady was with Darlington from the age of nine, progressing though the ranks before being handed his senior debut by Simon Davey at the end of the 2009-10 season.
"I came on at half-time against Grimsby and impressed," he said. "I think I made four appearances in League Two, I should've scored against Macclesfield and I was raging with myself.
"I remember when I first started my dad driving me down to training at Eastbourne Sports Complex every Wednesday and Friday, 40 miles there and 40 miles back so we clocked up a few miles.
"I've been there nearly ten years so I might've been due a testimonial if I'd stayed there another year!
"I do owe a lot to Craig Liddle. He deserves to be where he is now, at a club like Sunderland. They are lucky to have him."
Meanwhile, former Darlington midfielder Rob Ramshaw is to sign for Gateshead, joining a number of ex-Quakers teenagers on Tyneside.
Winger Jamie Barton has already made the move while goalkeeper Jordan Nixon is due to play for the Heed next season. Jamie Chandler and Liam Hatch signed in January.
Teenagers Scott Harrison and Dale Hopson are due to go on trial with clubs in the Football League.