Dreaming Of A Young Dean Windass: The Bradford City Fans' Guide to the Transfer Window

After four years in 'the basement division' will Bradford City get it right this time?
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It’s the silly season in football – do you love it or hate it?

You mean the bit in between the football season finishing and starting again?

It's getting a bit tedious. Change the manager. "The players will be fitter". "It's a massive club, I can't wait to get going". Starry-eyed youngsters offered contracts destined for obscurity. Photos of the squad in the local paper on an army assault course. Picking up an 'ex Manchester United player' by way of Rochdale, Darlington, Ossett Albion.

This summer what are you hoping to read every time you check your club news each morning?

That top scientists previously working on Dolly the sheep have finally achieved their ultimate goal and created exact replicas of the 1998-99 Bradford City team. And that our first XI will be youthful shiny replicas of Walsh, Wright, Jacobs, McCall, Dreyer, OBrien, Lawrence, Whalley, Mills, Blake, Beagrie. God, that was a good team.

What do you inevitably end up reading instead?

We've signed a 16-year-old from Clyde.

To be fair though, this lad from Clyde does look very good  and the club have finallydecided to look to the long term and sign 'promising youngsters'.

The club has also set up the intriguingly titled 'development squad' designed to help players bridge the gap from the youth team to the first team, and we've set up a new scouting network headed by a Jock who used to work at Dagenham. The football club. Not the car factory.

We've also signed Ross Hannah from Matlock Town. He scored 102 goals in 130 games including 52 last season for them and has an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm for his new club. He's the type of player any fan would want playing for their club.

Got much cash in the kitty?

How long have you got on this? Two administrations, lots of belt tightening, selling the ground and offices and four seasons in the abyss of the fourth division has left us with chuff all money as far as buying players goes. Our decent-sized crowds, despite virtually giving season tickets away, still generate enough money to give us a 'competitive' wage budget for this division which sadly managers have yet to take advantage of.

There was talk of some local-ish businessman (aren't they always) attempting to take over / invest in the club but for me his plans of buying both Bradford City and Bradford Northern (Bulls) and moving us to some super stadium as Bradford Sports Club sounded both unnecessary and worryingly fanciful.

But that said, the club have just bid £100k for a player from Dagenham, which I'm assuming is the money we're getting from the televised cup tie with our near neighbours with allusions of grandeur in August...

Hulking midfielder? Tricky winger? Big b*stard defender? What types of players would you like to sign this summer?

We've signed the big b*stard defender in Guy Branston, who seems to have been around for years, has been sent off 18 times and famously cut his hand/severed tendons/lost his arm at the shoulder when he punched through the referee's (turned out to be glass on the other side) door at Hull after being sent off playing for Rotherham.

Other than that, I'd like to sign really ace players that put in loads of effort and help us finish somewhere in the top 7.

Oh, an experienced striker would be nice, in the Peter Thorne / Dean Windass mould.

What types of player will you end up signing instead? An U21 Moldovan left back instead of a Spanish international forward perhaps?

I'd be delighted if Bradford City signed an U21 Moldovan left back.

Well, I would if we needed a left back.

Have they got any wingers?

I'd imagine we'll sign some of the trialists we've got on trial but only if they're Scots.

Who wants to leave the club and what’s your attitude towards them?

I can't see anyone wanting to leave a club that finished near the bottom of the fourth division last season. It doesn't look good on the CV does it?

Possibly 'giant defender' Luke Oliver. At 6'7" he's built more like a rugby union player you'd see in a lineout and been unfairly singled out for criticism by some  as he's seen as 'one of Peter Taylor's men'. If he can get himself a club lined up then I imagine he'll be off. I hope he sticks around though as I'd rather have him on our team than play against him.

Who has been the biggest t*sser of this transfer window?

No one springs to mind and I've no idea what Ronnie Moore's been up to this summer.

Reckon you’ll be stronger or weaker next season

I'd fully expect us to finished higher than last season. Though I can't tell you where we did finish as I stopped looking at the table somewhere around the end of January. It's about the long term now anyway. The next 3-4 seasons not just next season.

Any other news?

The club unveiled a 'controversial pink away kit' which gained much publicity. It seems kids these days like day glow kits and rugby players and Barcelona have worn pink so that makes it ok. Not a fan myself. Not because it's pink as such, but because it seems to close to the claret used in our famous home kit.

What has been the best ever bit of business your club did in the transfer window?

Not sure how long the transfer window has been around but bringing a young John Hendrie up from Coventry, £25k for John Dreyer from Stoke City in 96, Peter Beagrie for around £50k from Manchester City and Jamie Lawrence for around the same from Leicester will all take some beating.

And the worst?

£625k for  an injured and past it John McGinlay from Bolton in 97 wasn't Chris Kamara's finest moment and probably got him the sack. £1.3m for Isaiah Rankin from Arsenal in 98 was a massive overspend by Paul Jewell that was overlooked because we got promoted that season - he's still only 33 now and playing for Ashford Town. Other names that would send a shudder down the spine of City fans would be Dan Petrescu, Paul McLaren, Tommy Doherty, Mike Duxbury, Darren Morgan.

We have a recent history of gambling big money wages on big name players and it going spectacularly tits up. Which is why it's good to finally see the club going down for the long term youth policy. And you know what? I obviously never learn because I'm ticking off the Saturdays until the 6th August...

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