Thoughts On The Bradford City Retained List


Bradford City haven't really been having the best of times lately with results just not going their way and managers coming and going for the fun of it. We used to be a club with a solid set of players and a manager that stuck around but since the German takeover things have changed and not for the better up until now where we seem to be getting ideas together and hopefully we will notice a big change this upcoming season. 

Last season started off terribly for us once again and then we had Trueman and Sellars in charge and results started to change and we were moving up the table and looking to head to the playoffs but the last few games didn't go to plan for us and we missed out on the playoffs, we also saw Trueman & Sellars step down from their joint manager position. To say we were doing so terrible at the start of the season though I think we did remarkably well to finish where we did. With Trueman & Sellars stepping down and a new manager coming in I think it was inevitable that we were going to see a mass exodus of players who were no longer under contract especially as so many players were actually out of contract at the end of the season anyway however, some of the players we have let go have actually come as a shock to so many of us fans. Granted a new manager is going to come in and rebuild with his own players but some key players have now gone and we are really needing to bring in some fantastic new recruits if we want to even attempt to get out of League 2 this year which is what we definitely need to do. 

We ended up releasing 9 players at the end of the season and here is who we lost...

Anthony O'Connor

I wasn't exactly a fan of Anthony O'Connor up until last season when my opinion on him changed. At the start of the season he was one of the only players who seemed to want to play each game and he even did really well when we played him out of his usual position. It was nice to see him playing well and showing us what he was capable of. It is going to be interesting to see who is going to end up replacing him.

Billy Clarke

Unfortunately it wasn't 3rd time lucky for Clarke and once again he has left the club. Clarke is one of those players for me who is hit and miss but for some reason we never seemed to get his full potential. I aren't sure if it was because of the players around him or us not playing him in a position that suited him best but we just couldn't get the best out of him and he has left the club once again. 

Clayton Donaldson 

I have to admit I was a bit surprised by this one as I thought with his age and injuries he would have wanted to end his career at his childhood club but I guess everyone else thought different. I honestly think from the middle of the season Donaldson played brilliantly, he got a few goals and his brilliant long throws got us into some threatening positions to create some chances for us. I think even keeping him as a sub could have been a good choice for us as his experience and throws could have served us well for another season in League 2. 

Connor Shanks

I never actually got to see young Shanks play but at 19 years old I can see him being a player who works his way up the ranks elsewhere as I have heard is a player with a fair bit of potential. Leaving Bradford could be a good move for him with him still being young as even if he has to drop to the National League, game time will help him get his name out there and get him some more experience. 

Connor Wood

Now this one really did surprise me as I thought we would have done everything we could to keep the left back at the club as he has been an influential squad member for a few seasons now. I have heard he had been approached by other clubs in January but we managed to hold onto him but I am intrigued to see where he is going to end up as he is a player who could play really well even in the bigger leagues. I just hope he doesn't end up as a bench warmer as he is too good to not be getting game time. I am definitely going to miss seeing him in a City shirt. 

Harry Pritchard 

I think Pritchard struggled to find his feet at City and injuries he picked up didn't help him out at all. Again I don't think we got to see Pritchard's full potential in a Bradford shirt but he did put in a few good performances when we needed them. 

Lee Novak

I was actually pretty excited when we signed Novak and to be honest he did put in some great performances and scored some brilliant goals for us. Unfortunately we didn't get to see him at his best due to injury and I really do wonder if his age and injuries are a reason we have released him as I think he could have played a big role in getting us out of League 2.

Will Huffer

We never actually got to see young goalkeeper Huffer play but honestly I don't think we had any intention of playing him when we signed him. I think we got him in a bit of a panic when O'Donnel was out for a lengthy spell just in case Hornby picked up an injury too. It is going to be interesting to see  where he ends up next. 

Zeli Ismail 

Ismail is a player who actually impressed me when we actually got to see him play as he was great on the ball and also had a fair bit of pace. Once again though he seemed to really struggle with injuries throughout his time at the club which I think may have played a part in us letting him go because if not I think he could have been a regular starter for the club. 

We only actually have 11 players currently under contract and they are...

Callum Cooke

Charles Vernham 

Elliot Watt 

Finn Cousin-Dawson

Gareth Evans

Levi Sutton

Niall Canavan

Ollie Crankshaw

Paudie O'Connor

Reece Staunton 

Richard O'Donnell

We are definitely left with a nice mixture of players and a few who really started to show us what they were capable of last year such as O'Connor, Watt and Staunton. I think it is going to be interesting to see if we sell any of these players and how much game time they get this season as I think a few of the could end up playing well under Adams, especially the younger ones who could end up learning a lot from him and any experienced players he brings in. 

The club has offered new contract to Jorge Sikora, Kian Scales, Matty Foulds and Sam Hornby so it will be interesting to see if any of these accept a new contract as I think all the players have potential to get game time and help the team progress up the league and due to their young ages they could be at the club for a while. We saw Hornby pulls off some great performances last season before eventually losing his spot to O'Donnell when he returned from injury so it will be interesting to see if he sticks around or not as I think it is all going to depend on how much game time he is going to get. We didn't get to see much of local lad Foulds last season but he is a player who has a lot of potential as we have all seen in the past when he played against us for Everton Under 23's so I think he would definitely be a good player to keep hold of. 

There are definitely a lot of key areas we are going to need to fill this off season to push for promotion but I think now we have Derek Adams on board we can bring in the players we need and really put in a challenge this year. I am definitely looking forward to seeing who we do bring in and finally returning to Valley Parade to see them play. Things might finally be looking up at Bradford City and hopefully we are climbing the leagues like we should be soon to get back playing the football we are more than capable of playing. 

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