Let’s not beat about the bush, Bradford City were dire last season. Even fans of the Bantams that I know would not shy away from that summary of their 2018/19 League One campaign.
Last season it was relegation for the Bantams, rightly so too. They threatened to right things, only for them to slide back below mediocrity and hurtle towards their eventual relegation plight. Most, if not all, Bradford City fans will admit to just how bad their side was last season.
They aren’t a bad side, on paper they didn’t deserve to be in a relegation battle and, ultimately, relegated. However, football played on paper is a dangerous game as it rarely, if ever, translates well to the pitch. It was there where it all went wrong for the West Yorkshire side. On the pitch, well, they were pretty awful.
Yet, under manager Gary Bowyer things should pick up, He’s too good a manager to be in League Two. The Bantams have set about changing that with a more than a decent set of additions to the playing roster ahead of the 2019/20 season. Already possessing players such as Sean Scannell and Eoin Doyle, City have been busy adding class that should be more than enough for a League Two promotion campaign.
One piece of astute business has been bringing back youngster Paudie O’Connor who was on loan from near neighbours Leeds United – this time on a permanent deal. yet, and much more excitingly for Bantams fans, they have added quality firepower up front. That quality is provided by the captures of local lad Clayton Donaldson from Bolton and James Vaughan from Wigan.
Suddenly that ‘paper game’ of football at Valley Parade looks very interesting.
Why Bradford City should be promoted on the back of a 40+ goal strikeforce
Eoin Doyle: Doyle has been at Valley Parade since the start of last season, signing on from Preston North End. Last season he was an almost ever-present for City after featuring in 44 games. These appearances brought him 11 goals and five assists. Projected League Two output: 16 goals, seven assists.
James Vaughan: former Everton trainee Vaughan is something of a football journeyman, Bradford City being the 12th team that he’s turned out for and he is only 31! the much-travelled, Birmingham-born striker featured in just 19 games for Wigan last season, scoring just two goals. However, a drop down to League Two for the first time in his career should easily help him to find his scoring boots. Projected League Two output: 15 goals, four assists.
Clayton Donaldson: Donaldson is a Bradford lad, and his capture from Bolton is like a return of the prodigal son to the city. It was a difficult season for Donaldson and, indeed, all Bolton players this season what with off-the-field incidents having massive ramifications for the players. He made 31 appearances last season for the Trotters, scoring just once and adding one assist. However, at League Two level he has scored 41 goals and laid on 12 assists in 80 games. Projected League Two output: 12 goals, six assists.