YORK CITY: Hands off Brodie!

NO DEAL – that's the message from York City in the wake of persistent interest from ambitious Blue Square North newcomers Gateshead in their Geordie frontman Richard Brodie.

Brodie, born and bred in the North East town, is the big summer target for the UniBond Premier League champions, with the striker having cut his teeth in the Northern League with Whickham and Newcastle Benfield before heading to City.

But York are determined to hang onto the frontman, who hit 14 goals last term – and weren't even prepared to decide the 6ft 2in forward's future when fielding a call from Gateshead this week.

Reports in the North East suggest the International Stadium outfit aren't so easily put off and they are rumoured to be lining up a four-figure bid which would be doubled should the Tynesiders claim a second successive promotion to the Blue Square Premier in 2008/09.

But the Minstermen are determined to stick to their guns regarding Brodie, who moved to the club after impressing for Benfield during an FA Cup fourth-qualifying round tie in January 2007.

City's communications and community director Sophie McGill said: "We received a call from Gateshead enquiring about Richard Brodie, but we stated we were not interested in discussing the matter with them.

"We view Richard as a player with a lot of potential who we want to continue to develop.

"He is very much part of York City's plans for the coming season and beyond."

Gateshead chairman Graham Wood confirmed: "Brodie is a player we've kept tabs on. He's a local lad and one that would add to the good quality forwards we already have at the club."

Brodie's former City team-mates Phil Turnbull and Carl Jones are currently on Gateshead's books with former Minstermen Steve Bowey and Paul Brayson, who played for the club last term, having moved on to Newcastle Blue Star.

Meanwhile, star turn Martyn Woolford, who recently made his bow for England C is ignoring rumours regarding his future – while insisting he would never leave the club for another Blue Square Premier rival.

The ex-Frickley ace, 22, hit an impressive 14 goals last term, with his stellar form monitored by the likes of Sheffield United, Doncaster and Crewe.

He said: "I've always said I wouldn't leave York for another Conference club.

"I would be setting my sights higher and probably higher than League Two as well to be honest, but you have to wait and see.

"I've not heard anything and my sights are fully set on York City.

"I'm looking forward to pre-season and next season and am still planning to be at York.

"I hear little rumours and I just try and ignore them unless something starts happening."