The 2005-2006 season player of the season
  1. Donovan Ricketts

    What can you say about Donovan Ricketts. He bided his time waiting for a chance that should have been his last season and this year established himself as another in a line of outstanding keepers who came from no where to City.

    Every bit as good as Paul Henderson and looking at times as good as Mark Schwarzer Ricketts’ athleticism has given City points from games which would have slipped away. Had he been up front his contribution would have been two dozen goals so significant was he to the Bantams cause.

    The real test of Ricketts importance came during his absence after the disgraceful sending off at Southend when City’s backline was exposed time and time again. We will do well to hold onto the big man who is our player of the season.

  2. David Wetherall

    Another great season for Wetherall who this term saw his starts in claret and amber pass those in the white of Leeds. Confident, calm, able, collected David Wetherall has slipped into being Mr. Bradford City.

  3. Dean Windass

    The five match ban in the middle of the season hampered Windass’s attempts to match his goal tally from last season but twenty strikes and some smart play showed why Wigan would have taken him into the Premiership.

  4. Mark Bower

    Part of a brilliant partnership with David Wetherall and then an impressive solid left back for the last few months of the season Bower has become the player you are proud to have in your side.

  5. Marc Bridge-Wilkinson

    With Steven Schumacher having a season as bad as last was good it fell to Bridge-Wilkinson to create everything for the Bantams and create he did. An impressive season if the Southampton scouts watching him are anything to go by.

Former player of the season
  1. Paul Jewell – Wigan Athletic
    There are seasons that impress from a player or a manager and then there are those that reinforce impressions and Paul Jewell’s season that saw him take Wigan to second in the Premiership and the League Cup final was certainly the latter. We knew how good he was after his year at City and now everyone knows. Bradford is proud.
  2. Paul Henderson – Leicester City
    We all wanted Hendo to stay but after he decided to quit VP last season few thought he would follow Mark Paston on the way out of the English game indeed his predicted path – to be understudy for a while then get and take a chance at first team football which would see him become the Fox’s number one keeper – is pretty much what happened and along the way under new boss Rob Kelly he made the saves that saw the East Midlanders move up the Championship. Gone yes, forgotten? Only thanks to the keeping of Donovan Ricketts. Quality? Very much so.
  3. Stuart McCall – Sheffield United
    Sheffield United have finally managed to get promoted and while many things flux under Neil Warnock Stuart McCall’s move from juniors to reserves to assistant manager has matched the improvements in the Blades promotion attempts. As understated as his midfield displays – McCall’s playing record is second to very few but few recognise that fact – the former City number four is impressing in South Yorkshire.
  4. Peter Beagrie – Scunthorpe United
    Given a new contract to take him past his 41st birthday and able to twist and turn the Bantams at Valley Parade as well as coaching a Scunthorpe United team over and above where they should be Beagrie is a class act and deserves our recognition.
  5. Peter Jackson – Huddersfield Town
    Like him or loathe him – and I find it hard to fully commit to either – Jackson has done wonders at Huddersfield Town as they emerged from financial a black hole to perform consistently well over three seasons. Jackson has rough edges for sure and one would question some of his comments and approaches but his results are impressive and he takes to Town what we lack at City – figurehead leadership. On why he is not loathable one can only look at the wreath marked Jackson and Yorath that sat outside Valley Parade this month last year.
  6. Matthew Etherington – West Ham United
    In by popular demand Etherington has been something of an inspiration for West Ham United in the climb up the Premiership and to the FA Cup final and while some would argue that only being a loan player he has no place on this list the fact his poppa has just bought half the Bantams gets him a place.
  7. Robbie Blake – Leeds United
    Nothing really pleasant about Leeds United this season – even the Leeds fans you like are grumpy on a Monday morning because they see a team slow and tottering like lambs to the slaughter should they get a place in the Premiership but one bit of common ground was the awe inspiring sight of an on form Blake back in West Yorkshire twisting and turning and showing all the stuff that should have taken him so mucu further in the game.
  8. Stan Collymore – Basic Insitict 2
    Career turns for former players are strange – Wayne Rooney’s bookie, Abi Titmus plaything – but Stan’s move into the movies playing erm… himself really was a bit of an achievement and one worth mentioning.
  9. Andrew O’Brien – Portsmouth
    A solid season in the Premiership by the Bantam man who has had a tough time settling on the South Coast but now looks assured and confident under handsome Harry Redknapp.
  10. Chris Hutchings – Wigan Athletic
    This list could have been topped off with Lee Sharpe or Roy McFarland or promoted Eoin Jess or doing ok Jim Jefferies but as Jewell asserted his quality the sight of Hutchings at his side repairing the damage done to his reputation by those three months as the boss of City now looks like he always should have – a great coach and a cracking second banana.
Five things that stood out in the averageness of 2005/2006
  1. Just before half time at home to Blackpool and a defeat might have got Colin Todd the sack – City were on the back of a 4-1 drubbing by Oldham – and would have plunged the club into relegation trouble. Blackpool pressed – the response? – a full throated and passionate backing from the Valley Parade Kop that had not been seen or heard for over half a decade. The moment of the season.
  2. Proof that being old did not make you a respected senior pro came when comparing the likes of Steve Claridge to the solid and determined play of David Wetherall and Dean Windass both of whom were a joy to watch with Wetherall statesman like and Windass passionate. One can only hope the next generation of City player inherit those characteristics.
  3. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Again with the kids BfB!” you may say but most of the joy this season came from watching Craig Bentham, Tom Penford, Joe Brown, Joe Colbeck and John Swift getting a place in the City team. All impressed but perhaps Bentham came out on top of the best of the boys battle with some assured and confident displays as holding midfielder.
  4. Peter Etherington is no one’s white knight charging to the rescue of Bradford City but his common sense business approach and desire to get further involved in the club putting in place practices aimed at improving the future of Bradford City are far from the windmill chasing dreams of the Quixotic either. As building blocks go he is a significant and important one.
  5. If anyone at the FL is reading and want to give us Blackpool away on a sunny Bank Holiday again then please do. A morning on the Pleasure Beach and the front with camaraderie between Bantams on Valhalla followed by a beer and the game. If Colin Todd is reading can we get a better result next time?
Five miserable things of 2005/2006
  1. Forgetting that Bantam shall never kill Bantam
    After Blackpool away when Steve Claridge signed and the knifes came out for Colin Todd the club’s supporters split into two camps roughly along the schools of thought being Todd In/Todd Out. At BfB – on the news at least – we tried to maintain a line of backing the idea of manager continuity while assessing the merits of Todd’s performance on a game-by-game basis. Spending months being dubbed “Todd Bummers” suggests we walked the line badly.
  2. No brains in Essex
    Southend fans who could not/would not read this site properly and then willfully misunderstood any attempt to explain what we had said to them made the Winter at BfB a lot of fun. Attempts to have the site shut down promised merciful and martyr like relief that did not come but the overwhelming impression of the men from Essex is far, far, far, far from good. For the record I still think that “the shut up without instant proof” tack taken by a group of Southend fans bordered on evil and that Ricketts – without a hearing and assumed to be a lair – was very badly treated.
  3. Are you Aaron?
    When City signed Aaron Wilbraham it seemed like Colin Todd had finally understood the need for a target man – we had been convinced of that need as the season carried on – but reading the abuse leveled at Wilbraham for no other reason than the fact another manager at a worse club would not pick him seemed to suggest that there was a growing number of Bantams supporters who had set themselves against anything City did. Never good.
  4. The football is just bad
    A look at the League One table shows the quality of the division. The leaders have less than two points a game, the bottom club have more than one. Much of a muchness and not much good at all. City were the average of an average league.
  5. Back to work blues
    Pressing work issues has pushed BfB to an evening updating schedule again. It is not perfect and we preferred the old way but what are you gonna do?
Five most enjoyable – if not best – goals of 2005/2006
  1. Joe Brown in the last minute diving header from a Joe Colbeck cross? Brilliant.
  2. Dean Windass’s belter of a free kick at home to Scunthorpe United.
  3. The Bobby Petta drifting free kick at home to Huddersfield.
  4. A rubbish season for Steven Schumacher but his goal at Southend was a belting drive from outside the box.
  5. Richard Edghill’s late equalizer in the cup at Barnsley was the least City deserved from the game we dominated.
Five things we will see next season
  1. More of the kids! Financial problems might have pushed us that way but in a choice between a Bobby Petta and a Craig Bentham I know who I’d rather have in the team.
  2. Improved home form! The last five games of the season saw City get thirteen points which should have been more. The home hoodoo is broken.
  3. A good manager or a new manager! Either Colin Todd will get it right this time or he will get the bag and the club will be looking for a new gaffer. Either way it will not be the civil war of this season.
  4. Things off the field! Peter Etherington has ruffled feathers at Valley Parade in the boardroom and the terraces. He is a guy who knows how to make a club into a good business and it is going to upset some for sure as the club starts to expand it’s off the field activities.
  5. Millwall! Yes the worst trip in football is back on the calendar. From the other end here come the “giddy” Carlisle United supporters.
Five things we will not see next season
  1. Darren Holloway! What will the guy behind us moan about now Darren Holloway has followed Wayne Jacobs out of Valley Parade. The second of the season where Todd played 352 left our full back hating neighbor lost.
  2. JCT 600! No longer will it look like at first glance that the Bantams have the word “Jacko” on the front of the shirts.
  3. Stew Peas! Damion Stewart has gone to QPR but seemed like a nice guy and give his all.
  4. Southend United. A long way to go and not at all pleasant.
  5. Danny Cadamarteri! Probably cause even if his B sample comes back clean then he is still not the man for a League One promotion campaign.
Five things we would like to see next season
  1. Simon Francis! The Blades will be doing that Premiership spending thing – lets sneak in and steal him back.
  2. Holding midfielders! Get another one to go with Craig Bentham and make sure one of them plays.
  3. Target men! The big thing this summer with Peter Crouch looking like the new Sir Geoff Hurst. Snap up Aaron Wilbraham before he becomes prized.
  4. Donovan Ricketts! A joy to watch and worth the admission price for some of his keeping. Keep him!
  5. Mark Bower standing next to David Wetherall! Cause Stew Peas is gone and the bext partnership at the back we have had for years is back together.