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League 1 Spotlight: Bradford City

Tom Hancock profiles the Bantams.

5 July 2018

A sixth consecutive campaign at this level awaits Bradford, whose mid-table finish last season represented a step backwards after making the play-offs in 2016 and 2017 – losing in the final to Millwall in the latter.

After winning 13 of their first 23 league games and looking on course for another play-off finish, the Bantams went on to record just five more victories, going on a ten-game winless run between January and March. Manager Stuart McCall was sacked in February, with Simon Grayson coming in to see out the season.

Some exciting new signings should boost the mood around the place, but City need to be wary of getting themselves stuck in League One, although a more open-looking division this coming season represents a great opportunity for them to finally return to the Championship.

Last season: 11th in League One

In charge:Michael Collins
Appointed last month, this is Collins’ first senior managerial role. The 32-year-old had previously been in charge of the Bantams’ Under 18s. A midfielder in his playing days, the youngest boss in English League football began his career at Huddersfield, making almost 200 appearances before going on to turn out for the likes of Scunthorpe and Oxford, as well as Bengaluru in India’s I-League.

Star player: Charlie Wyke
A proven goalscorer at this level, the 25-year-old notched 15 League One goals last season, following on from his 21 in the previous campaign. A potent threat known for his aerial ability, he scored against Wycombe for Carlisle in a 1-1 draw at Brunton Park two years ago.

Key ins: It’s been a busy summer so far for the Bantams, and three promising young players have joined from big name English and German clubs. Pacey winger Sherwin Seedorf – nephew of a certain Clarence – has joined on loan from Wolves until January, with right-back Joe Riley signing on a two-year deal from Manchester United – where he made two first team appearances – and former Sweden U19 centre-half Thomas Isherwood doing likewise from Bayern Munich. Central midfielder Hope Akpan and goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell have also arrived on frees from Burton and Northampton respectively.

Key outs: Right-back Tony McMahon has been an important member of the side over the last three years but was released in May, while experienced first choice ‘keeper Colin Doyle left after being unable to agree a new deal. McMahon has since joined Oxford.

EFL head-to-head:
Meetings: 12
Wycombe wins: 7
Bradford wins: 5
Draws: 0

First meeting:
03/09/1994 (League One): Bradford 2-1 Wycombe (Wycombe scorer: Jason Cousins (p))

Last meeting:
19/03/2013 (League Two): Bradford 1-0 Wycombe

Last Wycombe win:
13/11/2010 (League Two): Wycombe 1-0 Bradford (scorer: Kevin Betsy)

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