The 2009/2010 Season

BfB Player of the Season 2009/2010
  1. James Hanson
    There is a lyricism to the thirteen goals James Hanson has scored in his first season in professional football that brightens a dour season for City. Plucked from Guiseley by the old partnership of Stuart McCall and Mark Ellis Hanson was – eventually – paid for in part by a supporter raising money and perhaps it was that that convinced the shelf-stacker turned striker to seize every moment on the field at Valley Parade. Leaving nothing in the dressing room is Hanson’s style and City’s reward is a target man who weighs in with goals. As supporters though Hanson’s tale is far more a flight of fancy. If he – the guy who used to sell you fags in the Co-op in Idle – can become top scorer at City then it allows us the slither of a dream that we all could be, or could have been, and in doing so adds a touch of romance to the often cynical world of modern football.
  2. Michael Flynn
    A constant of the season has been Michael Flynn’s post game appreciation of the supporters who – at times – have not supported the efforts on the field but such talk undersells a player who is more than a cheerleader. A solid, stable midfielder who unlike processors in the number four role of Paul Evans does not think every pass should be a fifty yard Hollywood ball or like last season’s Paul McLaren or Dean Furman does not go missing in games. One hopes he stays for more next season.
  3. Lee Bullock
    As an attacking midfielder Bullock divided opinion often cropping up, sometimes seemingly lost but like his manager McCall Bullock moved back the field and reaped the dividends with a season of steadfast defensive midfield work of which Cantona would have used the word “Water carrier”. The move back the field was worked well for City and may stick another three or four years onto Bullock’s time in professional football.
  4. Gareth Evans
    A late flourish of impressive goals showed the effects of the young man signed from Macclesfield finding his feet impressively. A perpetual motion machine when chasing the ball he has all the makings of a fine, mobile striker at this level and – now he has started leathering the ball once in a while following his initial attempts to softly, softly every goal – he could perhaps higher. Certainly a better use of £40,000 than Willy Topp and very much the player that everyone wanted Toppy to be.
  5. Simon Ramsden
    The forgotten man of the season who put in man of the match performances for Stuart McCall as McCall’s team misfired – some City fans will always hold him in high regard for standing up to be counted for the manager who many felt was let down by others – but lost the back end of the year through injury. A fit Simon Ramsden combining with Omar Daley – could be very interesting next term.
Brightest things of the season
  1. Wayne Jacobs
    McCall’s assistant came under massive pressure from all sides at Valley Parade during the season but always maintained a dignified demeanour taking charge of the team, helping Peter Taylor settle in and then providing his worth to the new manager to earn a new contract. Shows the genuine class that many of his critics can only dream of.
  2. Peter Taylor
    The big fear when Stuart McCall left the club would be that he would be replaced with a manager who offered nothing more and substantially less – Peter Jackson for example – but in going for Peter Taylor who had a track record of achievement showing not only that he knew what to do, but that he was capable of repeating success, Mark Lawn and Julian Rhode got it right.
  3. Omar Daley
    Back from injury and within a couple of months looking fit enough to rip into a defence or slap one of them as ended his season early at Chesterfield. Coming back from that injury for a player who is all about fearlessness is not easy but everything shows that the old Omar – love him or not – will be back next year.
  4. The City Gent
    The fine publication had a vintage season securing superb interviews with Stuart McCall and Peter Taylor that told the inside story of the season. Great, great work fellas.
  5. The kids are alright
    James Hanson, Steve Williams, Gareth Evans, Jon McLaughlin, Luke O’Brien are five players City have sourced or produced as young lads and as a result the team – at time a little wet behind the ears – can be seen getting better and better.
Top 5 loan players
  1. Robbie Threlfall
  2. Adam Bolder
  3. Luke Oliver
  4. Ryan Kendal
  5. Simon Eastwood
Top 5 disappointment performances
  1. Jon Bateson
  2. Matt Glennon
  3. Zesh Rehman
  4. Scott Neilson
  5. Stephen O’Leary
Top 5 things that will never happen…
  1. Under Rhodes/Lawn City won’t buy ground back
  2. City fans will never be in favour of move to Odsal
  3. City (under current chairmen) won’t have a realistic youth policy which produces good 1st team players.
  4. Bradford Council won’t lift a finger to help the club find good quality training facilities in Bradford.
  5. City won’t get equal treatment with bulls from either council or T&A
Top five away atmospheres
  1. Rochdale in the league
    We travelled to Spotland three days after a dreadful performance at Accrington, and no one had any belief then-league leaders Rochdale could be stopped. Yet for the full 90 minutes we backed the players non-stop, with a superb repertoire of new and classic chants; helping the players to earn an unlikely win. Surely the night Peter Taylor began to fall in love with the Bantams.
  2. Carlisle in the JPT
    A quarter final tie away at League One opposition was always going to be difficult, more so after Simon Ramsden was harshly sent off just before half time with the score 0-0. Yet despite going onto lose 3-0, it was a memorable night for the brilliant support provided by City fans, large in number for a long Tuesday night trip just before Christmas. The chanting included attempts to replicate Galatasaray-style chanting and bouncing around.
  3. Notts Forest in the League Cup
    A grim night on the field, as an impressive Forest side showed early signs of the ability that led to them finishing third in the Championship, by sweeping aside City 3-0. Days after the Notts Country trouncing, it was looking like a bleak season. Yet frustration turned to humour and we backed the players nevertheless, mocking Forest fans for their lack of noise and only stopping singing to laugh at the increasing absurdity of our own chants.
  4. Morecambe in the league
    A wretched referee is usually a good way of stoking up the atmosphere – and they don’t come much more appalling than Stuart Attwell. All night his series of bizarre decisions were loudly disputed by City fans, while the players were roared on in their efforts to snatch what would have been a deserved winner. Towards the end Gareth Evans was wrongly dismissed and Barry Roche, the Morecambe keeper who got him sent off through play-acting, was angrily booed by City fans behind his goal. I bet his ears were still ringing the following morning.
  5. Crewe in the league
    Nothing to play for on the last day and hardly a season to celebrate, but City fans present created a carnival atmosphere while admirably honouring the Valley Parade fire anniversary. Highlight was probably getting the whole stadium to join in a Mexican wave during the first half, though the five-man conga line celebrating Bristol Rovers leading at Leeds United was also a hilarious sight.
Top five positives of the season – as observed through our rose-tinted glasses

As Stuart McCall came under huge pressure at the turn of the year, we at BfB once again faced accusations of wearing rose-tinted glasses in defending the under pressure manager. Still we like our rose-tinted glasses and are thinking of marketing BfB coloured ones for next season – “Helping you see the good in everything”.

  1. Michael Flynn is a worthy successor to Stuart McCall
    At last with have a number four good enough to follow the high standards McCall the player exemplified. Sure Dean Furman was outstanding last season, but he wasn’t our player. Flynn has been a true leader on the pitch, always giving his all. Get him signed on a new contract and let’s build a team around him.
  2. Peter Taylor is a worthy successor to Stuart McCall
    Monday 8 February was a sad day for Bradford City, as McCall departed the club. Despite his reign not going to plan, no one could dispute how hard he worked to try and deliver success to the club he played for in two memorable spells. However Taylor has proved an excellent appointment and the signs are he can finally get things right on the pitch. But please Taylor, continue to let the team play football next season instead of long ball.
  3. We had a cup run!
    Okay it was only the JPT, but what fun we had in the games against Rochdale, Notts County, Port Vale and Carlisle. If only we could have got that semi final with Leeds.
  4. We are building a team for the future
    McLaughlin, Ramsden, Luke O’Brien, Rehman, Evans, Williams, Hanson, James O’Brien, Osborne and Neilson. Throw in the more experienced Daley, Flynn and Bullock, and the nucleus of a good squad is in place. Think back to the 1998/99 promotion season and how many of that squad excelled having been at the club the season before. The future’s bright.
  5. Erm, at least we didn’t get relegated!
    Since relegation from the Premier League in 2001, City have spent three seasons in a division before going down again. This was City’s third consecutive campaign in League Two and, when a dismal 0-0 draw with Grimsby was followed by a woeful 2-0 defeat at Accrington in February, there was still cause to look over our shoulder. Luckily we weren’t that bad and had no fears of going down, so here’s to an end to that three season cycle and a fourth consecutive campaign in League Two. Great.