Midfielder Paddy McLaughlin has agreed to stay with York City after completing his loan deal from Hartlepool United.

McLaughlin, who played in the City team that won the FA trophy and promotion to the Football League in 2012, returned to the club in January after a six-year absence and made 15 appearances this season under manager Steve Watson.

“I am very, very happy to commit my future to the club,” he said. “I have enjoyed the last few months and we have had a reasonably positive end to the season.

“There are definite signs of progress and it’s an exciting time to get on board,” he added. “Everybody has just got to draw a line under this season and look forward to the next with lots of positivity and optimism that we can be successful.”

Former Northern Ireland Under-21 international McLaughlin, now 28, started his career at Newcastle United before joining the Minstermen for a two-year spell in 2011. After leaving the club in 2013, he subsequently played for Grimsby Town, Harrogate Town (on loan), Gateshead, and Hartlepool where his contract expires this summer.

City manager Watson said: “As soon as Paddy came in, he reminded us how good he was – not just playing but with his professionalism and leadership skills. In the last two games of the season, he was absolutely outstanding.

“We knew we wanted to move forward with him and hoped he would feel the same way. He loves the club and now we have got Paddy on board for the next two seasons which is great news for everybody.

“He has a good affinity with the club and I think the fans really relate to him,” Watson added. “He’s had success here before and, hopefully, he is going to play a big part in bringing success here again.”

Watson, meanwhile, is planning to release full details of the club’s retained list on Wednesday.

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