Bradford City 2019-20 League Two Season preview- 72 in 72

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To say Bradford has underachieved in the 2018-19 season with a rumored wage budget of £4 million is putting it lightly.

They weren’t able to even survive relegation in League one, some fans attribute this to former Chairman and Chief Executive Edin Rahic.

Edin Rahic was sacked by majority owner Stefan Rupp over Clubs underperformance in his tenure which started in 2016.

Since the departure of Simon Grayson at the end of the 2017-18 campaign Club has gone through three manager changes. Starting with Michael Collins who was followed by David Hopkin and finally showing confidence in Gary Bowyer.

The three managers combined had 11 wins, 8 Draws and leading to 24th and final position in League one which meant they are going to play League two football for 2019-20 campaign.

Manager

Gary Bowyer is known for bringing stability back to free falling clubs like Blackburn and Blackpool.

He has guided Blackpool back to the League One in the first attempt even with the off-field turmoil like not having a proper training field and players and staff not getting paid.

He is also known for his time with Blackburn where he took the club over in interim role and turned them into a stable championship club.

But, his record as Bradford city coach does not look good on the paper. He only has 2 wins and 2 draws in 11 games in charge of the club. one can argue that the team was not his and he deserves at least one transfer window.

Owners have shown their support in him by offering an extension even when he lost 4 of the 5 games in charge of the club. His contract will run till 2021.

Signings

Bradford is having one of the busy summers among the League two sides. Having already confirmed that 8 new players will be arriving on July 1st.

Gary Bowyer seems to have an interest in overhauling defense at the club as they had let in 77 goals last season.

The signings so far are as follows

Adam Henley

A Player who was capped twice by Welsh national team had a terrible two seasons in MLS, He joined MLS side Real Salt Lake City after being released by his boyhood club Blackburn Rovers.

Henley was an integral part of Blackburn under current Bantams manager Gary Bowyer. If he can keep himself fit he will undoubtedly be a great signing for Bradford City.

The 25-Year-Old will give anyone run for their money for starting at Right back position.

Clayton Donaldson

A veteran football league striker Clayton Donaldson has played in all three tiers of the football league and is well known for his time at Birmingham City, Sheffield United, and Bolton Wanderers in the championship.

The 35-Year-Old had a terrible 2018-19 season with Turmoil ridden Bolton Wanderers where he was only able to score 1 goal in 31 appearances for a championship club.

He will undoubtedly bring his experience to Bradford City and will hopefully compete for starting striker position.

Zeli Ismail

Albanian born winger is a product of the Wolverhampton Wanderers youth academy and has represented England at under-16 and u-17 levels.

As a youngster he was valued at £100m, so to say he has underachieved is a putting it very politely.

But he is still only 25, so Bradford City fans will hope it is only upwards for him from here and that he will fill the spot that is left in their midfield with the departure of loan signing Jack Payne.

Ben Richards-Everton

Ben Richards-Everton was unable to establish himself as a starting Center back at any club till now. So, Bradford fans will hope he will be able to compete for the starting center back position.

The 27-Year-Old has played most of his career in lower divisions in Scotland and has spent two seasons at Accrington Stanley as a backup Center Back.

Sam Hornby

The 24-Year-Old will probably be used as a backup goalkeeper. So, Bradford city fans can only hope he will be able to give competition for places at that position.

Jackson Longridge

Jackson had played most of his career in Scottish League One and Championship representing likes of Ayr United, Stranraer, Livingston, and Dunfermline Athletic.

He had an amazing season for Dunfermline last season at the Left Back position. He can also fill in at Left Midfield if needed.

Bradford City fans will hope the 24-Year-Old can transition from Scottish football to English football and become a starting Left Back for years to come.

Tyler French

Tyler had initially joined Bradford after a successful trial. The 20-Year-Old Center Back is considered one of the brightest prospects to come of the Non-League.

At just 20 he can also be used by the U-23 team. He should be considered as a prospect rather than the first team player for now.

Paudie O’Connor

21-Year-Old is one of the bright prospects to come out of Irish Leagues. He has spent the first half of the last season at Blackpool and the second part at Bradford.

He seems to have impressed Gary Bowyer in his 9 appearances for Bradford last season. So the boss has seen that his move from Bitter rivals Leeds United is made permanent.

James Vaughan

Bradford has continued their busy season by signing who has made more than 52 appearances in the premier League with Everton and 183 appearances in the championship.

The Thirty Year old has never played in league two before but has made more than 341 appearances across top three leagues. Which means he will undoubtedly bring his experience from other leagues and fans can only hope he can transition his game easily into League Two.

In the 2018-19 season, he has spent the first half of the season with Wigan Athletic in Championship and the second half of the season at Portsmouth in League One.

James Vaughan is known for his through balls and his Aerial ability. He is a Right foot center Forward who likes to play as a Target man.

Fans/Attendances

It is a tradition in League one and League two to debate about who has the better set of fans and which club has bigger attendance which is a major factor for clubs finances as TV deals are not worth much.

Bradford city and Valley Parade will be one of the attractive away destinations for all the rival clubs. Add to that 13,500(Rumored) season tickets sold it will be undeniably one of the best support in League Two.

To make it a bit clear average attendance in league two last season was 4,468.

Bradford fans will have to travel 3323 miles if they want to support their team on all the away games. Which averages out to be 144.5 Miles per game with Plymouth at 330 miles being the longest.

But still, other teams can expect hundreds if not thousands of fans visiting their stadiums based on the number of away tickets available.

Promotion Odds

Many bookmakers are offering 10/1 odds on Bradford winning League two title and are making them joint favorites alongside Plymouth Argyle, Salford City, and Scunthorpe Utd.

While they have 5/2 for promotion back to the League One at the first attempt. This makes them third favorites behind Scunthorpe Utd and Plymouth Argyle.

Preseason

In one of the key fixtures in Pre-season Bradford City will host Champions league winners Liverpool at Valley on 14th July.

In another big match Bradford will host Wigan Athletic on 20th July.

Apart from that Bradford will travel to

Guiseley on 6th July,  
Brighouse Town on 9th July,
Eccleshill United on 16th July,
Bradford Park Avenue( Bradford Derby) on 23rd July,
Rochdale on 27th July.

2019-20 Regular Season Fixtures and calender

Aug 3 Cambridge United H

Aug 10 Grimsby Town A

Aug 14 Carabao Cup One

Aug 17 Oldham Athletic H

Aug 20 Stevenage A

Aug 24 Forest Green Rovers H

Aug 31 Crewe Alexandra A

Sep 7 Northampton Town H

Sep 14 Walsall A

Sep 17 Cheltenham Town A

Sep 21 Carlisle United H

Sep 28 Scunthorpe United A

Oct 5 Swindon Town H

Oct 12 Morecambe A 

Oct 19 Crawley Town H

Oct 22 Port Vale H

Oct 26 Macclesfield Town A

Nov 2 Exeter City H

Nov 9 Emirates FA Cup 1

Nov 16 Colchester United A

Nov 23 Plymouth Argyle A

Dec 7 Newport County H

Dec 14 Leyton Orient A

Dec 18 Carabao Cup Five

Dec 21 Salford City H

Dec 26 Carlisle United A

Dec 29 Mansfield Town H

Jan 1 Morecambe H

Jan 4 Swindon Town A

Jan 11 Crawley Town A

Jan 18 Scunthorpe United H

Jan 25 Mansfield Town A

Jan 28 Cheltenham Town H

Feb 1 Oldham Athletic A

Feb 8 Grimsby Town H

Feb 11 Stevenage H

Feb 15 Cambridge United A

Feb 22 Newport County A

Feb 29 Plymouth Argyle H

Mar 4 Emirates FA Cup 5

Mar 7 Salford City A

Mar 14 Leyton Orient H

Mar 17 Port Vale A

Mar 21 Macclesfield Town H

Mar 28 Exeter City A 

Apr 4 Colchester United H

Apr 10 Forest Green Rovers A

Apr 13 Crewe Alexandra(H)

Apr 18 Northampton Town(A)

Apr 25 Walsall(H)

First team Kit

Bradford and Avec Sport have unveiled their new Home kit for 2019-20 season and here is the launch video.

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