THE boots aren’t getting a breather just yet – Clayton Donaldson will be coming back for more.

The evergreen striker is celebrating York’s return to the National League after finishing top-scorer on his return to the club where his long career first took off.

And while the former Bantam is studying for his UEFA A coaching licence in Belfast this summer, he has no intention of leaving the pitch for now.

“Everyone thinks you should always finish on a high,” Donaldson told the T&A. “But that’s the wrong thing to say in football.

“If you’re a gambling man, then yeah, but in football terms you have to listen to your body and people around you.

"If your body is saying you can do another year and so are those people you trust, then 100 per cent you're going to listen. Why do I want to stop now?

“I’ve always kept myself in good nick and it would be foolish of me trying to pack it in now because I’ve still got a lot to give and my body’s holding out.

“I’ve still got all my main attributes like my speed so I’m definitely looking to give it another go.”

The 38-year-old re-joined the Minstermen on a one-season deal following his release from Valley Parade last summer.

With a haul of 14 goals and nine assists, Donaldson played a major part in York’s return to the fifth tier after a five-year wait.

They clinched promotion by beating James Hanson’s Boston 2-0 in the National League North play-off final at the weekend in front of nearly 7,500 fans.

Donaldson added: “It was amazing for that level but it shows just how big the club is. The support around the place is huge.

“When I left York before I didn’t really go on good terms. They got knocked out of the play-offs as well so I just wanted to give something back and get the club promoted.

“Lo and behold, we’ve done that. It’s been a really good season and I was top goal-scorer too – everything is positive.

“I get a few more kicks in this league than others.

“I’ll always be one of those players who is the most fouled in the league. I’m used to it now.

“It’s just how I play. I’m seen as a threat so you’ve got to take it in your stride and not react – but you do get kicked.”

Manningham-born Donaldson has relished the challenge of playing in non-league outposts just as much as his time in the Championship with the likes of Birmingham and Sheffield United.

“You get loads of players that drop down and travel to these places and get lost. They think it’s not for me.

“But I just love football. No matter who I’m playing, I want to win and do well for the team and myself.

“That’s why I’m keeping going. As soon as I’m not enjoying it and my body says to call it a day then that’s when I’ll stop.”

Coaching is Donaldson’s long-term aim – “football is all I know” – but that remains on hold. But he is happy to pass on advice to much younger team-mates.

“I’ve been a professional footballer for 20 years and I’m more than happy to pass my experience down to them because they're the next generation.

“They want to know what it takes to have that longevity in the sport. I tell the young lads that it’s how you apply yourself and look after yourself on and off the pitch.

“Do that right and it will stand you in good stead later in your career. I’m testament to that.

“I’m feeling really good. Everyone keeps saying that there’s no way I’m 38 with the way I’m training and playing.

"I'm still doing my coaching and I'll hopefully complete the A licence by the end of the year. I've always wanted to keep in football because that's all I know.

"If I do hang up my boots, I've got that to fall back on. But I'm not stopping now."

Donaldson feels he has “unfinished business” in the Conference after what happened in 2007 when York were knocked out in the play-off semi-finals by Morecambe. But he is waiting to find out if he will get the chance to stay for a further year.

He said: “The manager is going to sit down with the players this week and discuss what he wants to do. Obviously, he needs to find out the budget and things like that.

“But I’d love the chance to play in that league again. There are some big old-school clubs and it’s very competitive, like a League Three now.

“York have got the infrastructure and everything is there to be a league club again. The club definitely need to be playing a lot higher.

“Promotion this year was the main aim. Thankfully we’ve done that and hopefully we can push on from here.”