Curtain Closes On A Glorious Season On An Occasion Fit For The 56
What a truly wonderful day.
A day that was fitting from start to finish - from the laying of the wreath ceremony at the memorial to the 15,000 strong VP crowd to honour the 56 that tragically lost their lives on the 11th May.
The sun shone down, scarves and flags were held aloft and how special for Jon Stead to get the winning goal then pointing to the sky in celebration in tribute. That was the win in the final home game of the season bookending what has been a truly magnificent League and Cup campaign for Phil Parkinson and his Bradford City team.
In truth, it was pretty comfortable for City all afternoon and the solid City defence was pretty much unthreatened, the formation reverted back to a more strict approach after recent weeks’ experimental phase.
On reflection it’s been a tough end to what has been a difficult 4 months but I think we can all agree that there has hardly been a game this season where the players haven’t given it everything and the fans haven’t got behind the team - it’s been a season full of incredible memories.
Looking a highlights and pivotal moments, the season really kicked off for me after Jon Stead scored the equaliser at Halifax and lead onto probably one of my favourite Bradford City memories which still leaves me glowing inside like a person from the old Ready Brek advert – of course the victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The word “work ethic” and “commitment” has been used heavily and two men to single out at the top of the field for me personally are James Hanson and Jon Stead. Hanson’s pace and touch has been exceptional this year and alongside the transformation for Hanson game has been the work rate and admiration for Jon Stead who has really grasped the notion of what football fans want to see – somebody that is 100% committed and will run into a brick wall for the team – the pair of them have been a joy to watch home & away this season.
Without making it about individuals for a moment, I’ve been impressed with every single player who has featured this year, the core of the squad is there for next season and I would be gutted to see anyone of them leave over the summer.
As Player Of The Year approaches, I have thought long and hard about who should possibly receive the award, it was close between two key players.
Rory McArdle - who would put his head into a meat grinder to stop the opposition from scoring has been so consistent – he’s the only player I see after each game with fresh stitches in various places around his face whilst tactically eating a pot of pasta. The second is Gary Liddle - I said it from Pre Season he would be favourite for the award and that feeling hasn’t changed, he goes quietly about his game, digs in and looks so calm on and off the pitch, unlike Gary Jones I don’t think he gets enough praise that he deserves – both players have been at the core of the success this season.
With one final hurrah against Crewe on Sunday, as fans we can all put our feet up and reenergise for a new campaign in August which could see some huge changes within the Club structure if the take-over is finalised, whatever happens its certain to be another rollercoaster for every Bradford City fan.