Rubber Bantams

Stuart McCall started his bounce back strategy for Bradford City bringing in two muscle forwards to lead the line for the Bantams next season.

Peter Thorne and Barry Conlon signed – tellingly on one-year deals – with both laying claim to being cut from the cloth of Dean Windass, of Lee Mills or Bobby Campbell.

Much travelled Thorne, 34, joins after his wasted two years at Norwich City in which he only scored twice and tells the usual hard luck injury stories. McCall brings a fresh start to Bradford City and there is no reason why Peter Thorne cannot be a part of that. He once menaced a Valley Parade defence for Stoke City and used to notch thirty a season. Cardiff City once paid £1.8m for him. League Two gives him a chance to be a somebody again.

History will record Conlon as McCall’s first signing. He is 28 and joins from Mansfield and got 12 goals in this year last season. McCall will want a greater return and to provide it he needs to find ammunition for his new strike force. Tom Penford and Craig Bentham should be his first reserves but as McCall pulled on tracksuit for training yesterday his thoughts no doubt turned to his need of midfield men to augment if not replace that pairing. The romantic has both Penford and Bentham rising McCall like in the side and the former number four says

“With the lads here now, I know there is definitely enough quality and spirit having been in with them and hopefully in the weeks leading up to the season there will be more people coming in.”

Scott Phelan, former Everton central midfielder, looks likely to be one of them. Ben Rix is lining up. John Spicer of Burnley is a long way up a shortlist.

Things are starting.