Football is littered with stories of superstars who blazed a trail of glory into the record books. However, it is also littered with players that don’t quite make it or are cast aside. Simon Parker, in the Telegraph and Argus, speaks to one of these players, Kevin Sansay on his time at Bradford City.
16 years ago last Friday, City were confirmed relegated to the third tier of English football and it was on that day that youngster Sansay scored his only goal for the Bantams just four minutes after coming on as a substitute against Wimbledon. He went on to become one of those youngsters tipped as a prospect worth watching. Trouble is, that was wishful thinking.
Despite what is thought to be a record near 100 goals for the youth and reserve sides at Valley Parade, Sansay was cut loose by City after a mere nine appearances, totalling 329 minutes, and that one goal against Wimbledon with City’s fate already decided.
After loan deals away from City with the likes of Leigh Genesis FC and Farsley Celtic, Sansay was picked up in a number of free transfer deals by the likes of Guiseley, Worksop, Halifax Town and Frickley Athletic. After a final free transfer from Stocksbridge Park Steels to Farsley Celtic in late October 2012, Sansay hung up his boots and retired the following July.
He’s back where it all began, at City and involved in training the Under-15s and in talking to Parker, and the T&A, he opens up on his time as a player at the Bantams. One thing he drew on was that former City manager Nicky Law didn’t think much of him. After a fall out on the team bus to West Ham with former Bantam Gareth Edds, Sansay reflects on being pulled aside by Law.
Commenting on this incident, Sansay reflected: “On the Monday, Nicky pulled me to one side and told me that if I ever spoke to one of the more experienced players like that, I wouldn’t play for him again. He said that he didn’t particularly like me as a person.”
He also reserves short shrift for former boss Colin Todd who, as the time, was assistant to former England captain Bryan Robson. Commenting on their different man-management styles, Sansay said: “Bryan liked young players with a little bit of arrogance to stand up to the more experienced ones. Whereas Colin wanted the young lads to shut up and fall in line with the old pros. I don’t think the club at the time was in a position to have such high expectations with somebody who was, in a sense, a dictator.”
It was this difference in outlook that led now-manager Todd to not see Sansay as part of the clubs plans going forward. His decision led to the young striker starting off that bubbling of loan moves that led to him permanently leaving the Bantams.