2019/20 Season Preview – Bradford City

Bradford City
BRADFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 22: A general view during a pre-season friendly match between Bradford City and Sunderland AFC at the Coral Windows Stadium, Valley Parade on July 22, 2017 in Bradford, England. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Bradford City finished dead last in League One last season but seem to have a different aura after undergoing a revamp. Former chairman Edin Rahic was removed from his post after a disastrous reign saw the Bantams relegated. Multiple issues had piled up, mistakes were made, and it ultimately resulted in what could probably be named Bradford’s worst squad to date. The resurrection of the club has begun with new boss Gary Bowyer determined to bring back winning ways.

Bradford City Season Preview

After a spring clean, Bradford City are now joint-favourites to win the league. New manager Gary Bowyer has united the fans and there is a real feel-good factor at the club. Bowyer has been determined to reconnect the players with the club’s history, hoping that this will produce a resurgence in the desire that players lacked last season. The fans have been appreciative of Bowyer’s efforts with rebranding and rebuilding. Along with the multitude of staff, Bowyer has truly turned the place around. Bowyer welcomed back forgotten players with open arms. Shay McCartan has expressed his delight in the new atmosphere.

Bowyer alongside the chairman, Stefan Rupp, and interim chief executive Julian Rhodes have done wonders in removing the toxicity that clung to the club. It’s a breath of fresh air as the fans claim back their club and look forward to a new season.

New Players

The recent transfer windows, under the watchful eye of Mr Rahic, had seen a jumble sale team assembled with little foresight. Multiple managers would attempt to cobble together a working team with the material at hand; each failed miserably.

With the end of the 2018/19 season, Bowyer had a chance to assess the shortcomings of Bradford’s side. With a clear, concise shopping list Bowyer set out to find pace, power, and height: all the things he felt the current squad were lacking. Behind the scenes, the staff at Bradford have worked tirelessly to recruit players that fit the bill. Over the summer Bradford have signed ten players, some of which are on loan. The team looks much better stocked with recruitment adding a well-rounded mix of experience and new blood.

James Vaughan has taken the club’s captaincy as Bowyer recruited him to ‘lead from the pitch’. All eyes will be on Vaughan to lead the line, in every sense. Paudie O’Connor is seen as a huge coup by the fans and will look to impress once again. Dynamic midfielder Matt Palmer joins on loan from Rotherham United.

Finally, Bowyer has emphasised a focus on team building. In contrast to some of the previous managers that created divides, Bowyer’s philosophy seems to suit the players

New League

Bradford fans were worried after the relegation but now have a reason for optimism. Last season was one to forget for Bradford fans. As the club tumbled down League One the problems became clear for all to see. A cloud of pure dread clung to every game as relegation became inevitable. As a result, many believed that the damage was irreversible. Yet, Gary Bowyer has managed to cultivate a positivity that feels reminiscent of the Parkinson era. After assessing the club Bowyer looks to have brought in the potential solutions in terms of signings. It feels like the club could be heading in the right direction after the U-turn into League Two. Stefan Rupp looks to have taken on board all advice from Julians Rhodes. This can only be good news for Bradford fans as Rhodes experience and passion for Bradford is undeniable.

The big reset button of relegation has offered a chance of redemption. Chairman Stefan Rupp has left the managing to a manager. Moreover, the signings have been well thought out, the players seem happy with the new atmosphere, and the fans have been able to enjoy a structured preseason. The Bantams look ready to rule the roost once again.

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