What happened last season?
Last season was a strange one for City. During pre-season we wondered
whether we'd even have a club to follow come August, and if so what players
would wear the claret and amber, and in which division. Therefore, the
season as it was can only be viewed as a happy one, despite conceding 73
goals and losing 22 games in all. Survival was the aim of the season, and
thanks must be given to both Nicky Law and Julian Rhodes for doing all they
possibly could to ensure that not only has the club survived (with its future
secured), but the magic target of 50 points was reached to ensure division
safety with a handful of games to spare.
The season started with a fresh and positive feel, largely due a shared
sense of relief and the emergence of some promising youngsters. Whereas the
2001-2002 Season had at many times felt stale with our 'experienced' players
frequently putting in uninspiring performances, the likes of Lewis Emmanuel,
Mark Bower, Simon Francis and Danny Forrest all contributed to a greater
sense of youth, team spirit and energy. Other shining lights were Andy Gray
successfully adapting to his role as striker, "Dane-ger" Claus Jorgensen
(aka 'Santa Claus', the 'Claussy Dane' etc) offering creativity, flair and
an almost record breaking number of away goals, and David Wetherall and
Peter Atherton returning from injury to offer much needed stability and
What's going to happen next season?
If you take notice of the bookies, City haven't a chance in hell of
promotion, and the likelihood is they'll have to battle bravely to avoid
relegation. If you listen to the likes of Dean Windass and Peter Atherton,
City should have a good campaign, and may even push for a play off spot.
However, offering any decent prediction of the coming season is difficult as
there are many unknowns in Nicky Law's remodelled squad. There is certainly
plenty of potential but that is only of any use if it is fulfilled.
The manager has brought in players who have something to prove, whether that
be the 34 year old favourite Windass, or the early twenty year olds such as
Wolleaston, Heckingbottam and Cornwall. Much will depend on the success of
these signings, the fitness of Atherton and Weatherall, Law's ability to
manage a team he has shaped, the continuing development of the side's
youngsters, and the return of individuals such as Combe and Kearney. There's
a chance that it could be a very good season, meaning mid-table solidity and
entertaining Saturday afternoons. I would welcome that wholeheartedly
because it would confirm that City have overcome their off-field problems,
and we're back on the way up! Hopefully the return of Dean Windass, and the
arrival of a several young players from big clubs, will encourage the return
of many fans to VP, and make it the noisy, vibrant stadium that Bradford and
the team need so much.
My instinct is that it will be a similar season to last, with maybe a couple
fewer losses, and the odd extra win, linked in with a few more goals.
Nothing groundbreaking but certainly steps in the right direction and
reasons to believe that better things are to come in the next few years.
That said, if injuries are a problem, with the squad as it stands, the
defence could be a problem for City. Time will tell.!
Can you recommend a pub for away fans?
Cartright Hotel on Manningham Lane. Always a mix of home and away fans enjoying a couple of pre-match pints.
What's the nearest railway station?
Bradford Foster Square (come out the
station and turn right up the hill and keep walking straight until you see
the stadium. 10 min walk approx.)
Where is the best place to park?
Canal Road's free and relatively easy to
get away from, but if you want to be closer to the ground there's a pay to
get in car park just down the road from the East/Ciba stand (to the right of
the pitch looking from the away stand - note that road gets busy before and
after the game though so a quick exit is impossible).
||Mighty, mighty Bantams
||sexy little David with his nice little white boots and suits
||Not to be
||Andy Townsend and Robbie Earle, offensively poor suits and punditry.
||Sheffield Weds and Bristol City
||'do some damage'
||2-1! I mean, Micah Hyde of course...
Soundbites(from assorted Census correspondents)
"The last few questions suck and there was no point in doing it at all - answered it best I could though - good start but got a little stupid towards the end." (bet you're a bundle of fun at parties - ed)
"I'm very dangerous and don't like surveys, but I do like the Marcus Gayle playing at Centre
Back so you're ok"
"Not being awkward about the e-mail address, it's not mine; can't offer you a job - can't
get a proper one myself and the gaps in the team are cos of the new bodies we've got in and won't remember who goes where until I've seen 'em. Up the Bantams (thanks for the three points,
you'll get your reward at your place)."
"Heidar Helguson is far better than most WFC fans rate him" (pretty damn good then - ed)
"Nicky Law is the third Mitchell brother from Eastenders"
"How the hell did you lot get Michael Chopra last year? What a player!"
"Not really, but just checking that we have the same deal as most seasons, you fluke a win at your place and we'll do the same at ours? Ow ad if young Ashley Wards still i the famous claret and amber when we next meet, have a collection for him will you, i mean who could realistically live off £18,000 a week when your not a footballer. Which believe you me, our Ashley aint!"
"The Daily ******* Mail? My god"
"We never win at Watford ... ever ... no matter how many times I come down ... we always play like twats ... so there's 3 points for you lot for a kick off"
"It was never a penalty, Pennant dived!"
"Vickerage Road always gives a great welcome to Bradford City Fans Thank you"
"I met a Watford fan in France a few years ago and he was a proper laugh. Stevie Bourne, if you read this, you're welcome to 'drop' Bradford on the 2nd of March."
"Get to your local clinic straight away,your bloody mental!"(my bloody mental what? - ed)
"This survey is stupid and you are all southern softies"
"Good luck next season, I look forward to the walk from your train station, through your shops, past the church and into the pub on the corner"