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The inside track to Bradford City

29 July 2022

Rovers travel to face Yorkshire rivals Bradford City on the opening day of the 2022/23 Sky Bet League Two campaign this weekend.

Here we provide all the details on our first opponents, as Gary McSheffrey’s side look to begin the new season with three points.


The experienced Mark Hughes took over at the Bantams in February, with Glyn Hodges appointed as his assistant following a brief spell as Rovers’ set-piece coach.

This is the first time Hughes has managed outside the Premier League at club level, having started his coaching career with his native Wales in 1999.

Coaching career: 

Wales (1999-2004)

Blackburn Rovers (2004-2008)

Manchester City (2008-2009)

Fulham (2010-2011)

Queens Park Rangers (2012)

Stoke City (2013-2018)

Southampton (2018)

Bradford (2022-present)

New recruits: 

The Bantams have signed 12 players so far this summer, after kicking off their recruitment process with Southampton goalkeeper Harry Lewis joining on a permanent deal. They backed that up with forward Jake Young putting pen-to-paper, before former Barrow man Matthew Platt signed three days later.

Midfielder Ryan East was added to their ranks at the end of May, while forward Kian Harratt, who won promotion from the fourth tier with Port Vale last season, joined on a season-long loan from Sky Bet Championship side Huddersfield Town.

They continued to get their business done early and snapped up dynamic midfielder Emmanuel Osadebe from Walsall, with forward Harry Chapman quickly following him through the door in West Yorkshire. Bradford then made two signings in a matter of days, with Romoney Critchlow joining on loan from Huddersfield, before perhaps their most eye-catching piece of business saw them secure the services of experienced midfielder Richie Smallwood after he left Hull City earlier in the summer.

Their busy summer recruitment drive was maintained and their next signing came in the form of exciting defender Timi Odusina, who arrived after Bradford beat off competition from several EFL clubs to secure his services from Hartlepool United.

Mark Hughes then strenghtened his backline further with the addition of former Rovers man Brad Halliday from Sky Bet League One side Fleetwood Town, before striker Vadaine Oliver joined the Bantams from Gillingham in what is their latest piece of business to date.

One to watch:

Vadaine Oliver

Bradford saw off competition from several Sky Bet League One clubs to secure the signature of Oliver earlier in July. The 6ft2 front man has spent the past two seasons at Gillingham, where he scored 27 goals in 77 league starts.

The 30-year-old started his career with hometown side Sheffield Wednesday, and has also had spells with York City, Morecambe and Northampton Town in recent seasons. He is 10 goals short of reaching the 100 mark in his career. 

Last trip to University of Bradford Stadium:

Rovers came out on top when the two sides last met in West Yorkshire back in April 2019. Mallik Wilks scored the only goal of the game to help continue Grant McCann’s side’s push for the play-offs.

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