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Town Insider - Bradford City

21 August 2012

Fleetwood Town’s first trip on the road as a Football League club takes them the relatively short distance to Valley Parade, home of Bradford City and the largest stadium in the division.

By David Mitchell

Fleetwood Town’s first trip on the road as a Football League club takes them the relatively short distance to Valley Parade, home of Bradford City and the largest stadium in the division. 

Manager, Micky Mellon, sees the game as another huge occasion for his squad: ‘It is a fantastic arena and a fantastic place to play.  There’s always massive support.  For them it is their first home game but we have enough experience in our squad to counter that.’ The Bantams began their campaign with a 3-1 defeat in sweltering heat at Gillingham on Saturday.  Mellon is not taking too much notice of that setback: ‘It’s very early days.  Things can go against you at the start of the season which won’t later.  There are always some strange results in the first few games.  I expect Bradford to be challenging come the end of the season.’ His own side’s performance against Torquay United had everything apart from a goal: ‘We will carry confidence into the Bradford match, as with any match, but we always guard against being over-confident.  We know that we can give anyone a game, though.’ ‘We will probably take the same twenty or so across the Pennines, including Damien Johnson who felt fine after his first full game for us and he had a cool down with about twelve of the lads at De Vere today (Monday).’ Both Town’s substitutions last Saturday were tactical and Mellon should have a full strength squad available for Valley Parade selection. Bradford fans are planning to create a colourful atmosphere at Valley Parade with the Friends of Bradford City having produced a retro claret and amber bar scarf to ‘turn Valley Parade into a sea of claret and amber’, inspired by the Swindon away fans when they celebrated their title at City in May.  The Bantams supporters are hoping that a concerted promotion push can be achieved this season after their team finished a modest 18th in League Two last season, equalling their previous campaign.  This was City’s worst finishing position since 1966. Manager, Phil Parkinson, has made some potentially significant signings amongst the eleven new faces, not least that of defender, Andrew Davies.  The England Under 21 player has agreed a permanent contract after appearing on loan for the Bantams last season.  Other important additions to the squad include midfielder Garry Thompson from Scunthorpe and defender Rory McArdle from Aberdeen while former Rochdale captain, Gary Jones will add steel to the midfield.  Two familiar faces from Fleetwood’s Conference days are striker Alan Connell and defender James Meredith.  Connell, formerly of Grimsby Town, has returned north after scoring 11 league goals for Swindon Town while Meredith has made the short move across Yorkshire from York City. Of all the clubs to grace the Premier League, none have fallen further than Bradford.  There have been three relegations, two administrations and the selling of Valley Parade in just six years. The setback at Gillingham, which included a drinks break for the players on the instruction of the referee, meant that the Bantams have not picked up a point on day one since 2008.  It was a disappointing result after a Capital One Cup win at Notts County the week before and Parkinson thought that his side deserved something from the game: ‘All in all, there were some good things to take from today but obviously we’ll go home very disappointed to lose.  We’ll have to look at things for the Fleetwood game and how well people have recovered from playing in that heat.’ With Richie Jones twisting his ankle in training on Friday and skipper Ricky Ravenhill also sidelined, City are left stretched in central midfield.

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