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League 1 preview: Bradford City

26 June 2013

We preview the Yorkshire side

League 1 preview:

 

As seasons go Bradford City’s couldn’t have gone much better. An amazing Capital One Cup run to the final where they beat the likes of Aston Villa and Arsenal along the way before finally losing to Swansea City in the final at Wembley was twinned with a fantastic league campaign.

 

We look at the side that will give all lower league sides the belief that they can upset the apple cart and mix it with the Premier League elite.

 

Team: Bradford City

 

If any side had a special bond with Wembley last season it was the Bantams. After losing 5-0 to Premier League side Swansea City in the final of the Capital One Cup Phil Parkinson’s side wanted another chance to showcase their abilities at the home of English football.

 

After sneaking the final Play-Off place they kept to the script by securing promotion to League 1 despite finishing four points behind Northampton Town.

 

Recent history suggests that the club finishing in the last Play-Off place gains promotion and this was the case, it’s unexplainable but that’s football.

 

With a stadium that can hold 25,000 they were always to big for League 2 and now with Phil Parkinson at the helm expect them to make huge strides next season.

 

Players:

 

So far Parkinson hasn’t bought any new players into the club, the reason probably being they were unsure which league they would be competing in until the last possible moment.

 

Four players have left Valley Parade including 35-year-old goalkeeper Matt Duke who ironically joins the side he helped stop reaching League 1, Northampton Town.

 

Also leaving the Yorkshire club is 19-year-old striker Adam Baker, centre-back Steve Williams and young right-back Dean Overson. All three players are yet to sign for new clubs.

 

Manager: Phil Parkinson

 

For a manager of a League Two side it doesn’t get much better than last season at Bradford. Parkinson’s side defeated Premier League team’s Wigan, Aston Villa and Arsenal on their way to Wembley before returning a few months later to defeat Northampton.

 

Parkinson is the man behind this ‘Roy of the Rovers’ script. The former Arsenal Scout has previous League 1 success with Colchester United as he helped guide them to the Championship in 2006.

 

Parkinson is highly regarded as an excellent coach and with Bradford he has a sleeping giant who could be ready to return to the Championship.

 

Key Man: Nahki Wells

 

23-year-old Naki Wells burst onto the scene last season when he scored an impressive 26 goals in all competitions.

 

The Bermudian international moved to England to play in the Northern Counties Leagues with Eccleshill United before moving to Carlisle United in 2011.

 

It has been popularly documented that he had trials with Ajax when he was a teenager. Maybe his true potential will come out next season?

 

Parkinson will need to keep hold of his star asset, as young prolific strikers are hard to find.

 

Promotion odds: 15/2


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