Pickford wins glowing praise from former Bradford City boss

Former Bantams manager Nicky Law

Former Bantams manager Nicky Law

First published in Sport
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

NEW City goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been tipped for a massive future – and will flourish on the Valley Parade stage.

That is the view of former Bantams boss Nicky Law, who gave the Sunderland youngster one of his earliest breaks in the senior game.

Pickford has been installed as City's number one for the approaching campaign and Jon McLaughlin yesterday officially left the club.

McLaughlin, 26, made 145 appearances after signing in May 2008 and was an ever-present last season in League One.

He had continued to train with City in pre-season despite turning down an initial contract offer. McLaughlin will now sign for Burton.

Law, the long-serving manager of Conference outfit Alfreton, recruited Pickford on loan as a raw 18-year-old when Martin O'Neill was Sunderland boss and was wowed by the youngster's performances.

He is convinced that the England under-19 stopper has all the attributes to take his former club by storm this season.

Law, who left Valley Parade in 2003, said: "Jordan plays above his years. Nothing fazes him.

"Going into that league at 18 was tough but he was never worried. He came in and was brilliant.

"He's a great shot stopper, he's as brave as a lion, he organises the defence – and his kicking is as good as I've seen.

"He can literally kick it out the end of the pitch. It's immense. He's a very good all-round keeper."

Pickford, now 20, caught City's attention last season when he was loaned out to Burton and then Carlisle. Law was happy to provide Phil Parkinson with a glowing endorsement.

He explained: "I said the same when Phil rang me about him as I did to (Burton boss) Gary Rowett. Taking Jordan is an absolute no brainer – don't even hesitate.

"Goalkeepers mature with age but I don't mind going with young kids if you are brave enough to do it. I'd rather have a good 19 or 20-year-old than a 35-year-old has-been.

"It will be good for Jordan to be playing at a big stadium with decent crowds. It won't faze him at all.

"When he came here, he probably had a little bit of immaturity about him. But he grew up when he played meaningful football rather than development games when he might lose concentration.

"He will make mistakes – the same as every keeper. He might cost you half a dozen goals in the season but he will save you a hell of a lot more."

Sunderland have nailed down the youngster for the long term with a four-year contract he penned only last month. Law believes a season with the Bantams can only accelerate his progress at the Premier League club.

He said: "I don't think Sunderland would be letting him out if they don't feel it's the next stage of his development. This is a great opportunity at a big club.

"He was behind Simon Mignolet, before he went to Liverpool, and now Kieron Westwood – but you don't get a four-year contract if they don't rate him.

"You can see he's got a massive future ahead. From my experience, I can't rate him highly enough."

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:19am Wed 23 Jul 14

Plastic Bantam says...

If he lives up to the billing maybe we can do what Athletico did with Courtouis or MK with Bamford. Get to keep him on loan for 2 seasons and help him develop... Helps us and Sunderland.. I know it's too early to know how good he is.. Biut as people are saying.. Premiership clubs don't offer 4 year contracts to 20 year old keepers if they're bog average!!
If he lives up to the billing maybe we can do what Athletico did with Courtouis or MK with Bamford. Get to keep him on loan for 2 seasons and help him develop... Helps us and Sunderland.. I know it's too early to know how good he is.. Biut as people are saying.. Premiership clubs don't offer 4 year contracts to 20 year old keepers if they're bog average!! Plastic Bantam
  • Score: 10

8:29am Wed 23 Jul 14

silverbantam says...

McLaughlin told The Yorkshire Post: “Unfortunately, it’s part of life in football, but it doesn’t ease the blow after being at a good club like Bradford for so long.

“When you have been at a club for so long, you pretty much know everyone closely at the club, not just players and staff, but everyone who works at the stadium. It was tough saying my goodbyes to everyone.

“I felt like I was really starting to get somewhere and I could have seen myself staying at the club for a very long time and going places with Bradford.

“Being an ever-present (last season) is probably the biggest kind of irony.

“The season before we had that incredible season and got promoted into a much tougher league and I have now probably had my best ever season.

“But in football, sometimes it’s time to move on and it seemed to get to that stage this summer, unfortunately.

“I tried everything I could to see if there was a way to stay, but in the end the best move was to make a clean break and look for a fresh challenge and start.”

He added: “The club and myself came a long way since I joined after they were relegated to League Two.

“I feel I have grown with the club and become more and more established with the club having also improved all along.

“It’s been a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better start in professional football after coming from non-league and working for a living.

“It’s great Bradford have been my first club, although it would have been nice if it was a little bit longer.

“But I am now looking forward to life at Burton and seeing how far we can kick on.

“There have been opportunities at clubs in other divisions. But a concrete offer from a club like Burton doesn’t feel like a drop down in division or class as they have been a team who in the past two years have been unlucky not to reach League One.”
McLaughlin told The Yorkshire Post: “Unfortunately, it’s part of life in football, but it doesn’t ease the blow after being at a good club like Bradford for so long. “When you have been at a club for so long, you pretty much know everyone closely at the club, not just players and staff, but everyone who works at the stadium. It was tough saying my goodbyes to everyone. “I felt like I was really starting to get somewhere and I could have seen myself staying at the club for a very long time and going places with Bradford. “Being an ever-present (last season) is probably the biggest kind of irony. “The season before we had that incredible season and got promoted into a much tougher league and I have now probably had my best ever season. “But in football, sometimes it’s time to move on and it seemed to get to that stage this summer, unfortunately. “I tried everything I could to see if there was a way to stay, but in the end the best move was to make a clean break and look for a fresh challenge and start.” He added: “The club and myself came a long way since I joined after they were relegated to League Two. “I feel I have grown with the club and become more and more established with the club having also improved all along. “It’s been a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better start in professional football after coming from non-league and working for a living. “It’s great Bradford have been my first club, although it would have been nice if it was a little bit longer. “But I am now looking forward to life at Burton and seeing how far we can kick on. “There have been opportunities at clubs in other divisions. But a concrete offer from a club like Burton doesn’t feel like a drop down in division or class as they have been a team who in the past two years have been unlucky not to reach League One.” silverbantam
  • Score: 19

8:35am Wed 23 Jul 14

Freddy says...

Another loan keeper as Sub. ?
Another loan keeper as Sub. ? Freddy
  • Score: -1

10:31am Wed 23 Jul 14

Peter300 says...

silverbantam wrote:
McLaughlin told The Yorkshire Post: “Unfortunately, it’s part of life in football, but it doesn’t ease the blow after being at a good club like Bradford for so long.

“When you have been at a club for so long, you pretty much know everyone closely at the club, not just players and staff, but everyone who works at the stadium. It was tough saying my goodbyes to everyone.

“I felt like I was really starting to get somewhere and I could have seen myself staying at the club for a very long time and going places with Bradford.

“Being an ever-present (last season) is probably the biggest kind of irony.

“The season before we had that incredible season and got promoted into a much tougher league and I have now probably had my best ever season.

“But in football, sometimes it’s time to move on and it seemed to get to that stage this summer, unfortunately.

“I tried everything I could to see if there was a way to stay, but in the end the best move was to make a clean break and look for a fresh challenge and start.”

He added: “The club and myself came a long way since I joined after they were relegated to League Two.

“I feel I have grown with the club and become more and more established with the club having also improved all along.

“It’s been a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better start in professional football after coming from non-league and working for a living.

“It’s great Bradford have been my first club, although it would have been nice if it was a little bit longer.

“But I am now looking forward to life at Burton and seeing how far we can kick on.

“There have been opportunities at clubs in other divisions. But a concrete offer from a club like Burton doesn’t feel like a drop down in division or class as they have been a team who in the past two years have been unlucky not to reach League One.”
I am very sorry to see Jon leave. It is indeed ironical after being ever present last season and flourishing as a keeper he has to depart. I wish him all the best for the future. I'm sure he still has a good career in front of him because he is still young for a goalkeeper.
[quote][p][bold]silverbantam[/bold] wrote: McLaughlin told The Yorkshire Post: “Unfortunately, it’s part of life in football, but it doesn’t ease the blow after being at a good club like Bradford for so long. “When you have been at a club for so long, you pretty much know everyone closely at the club, not just players and staff, but everyone who works at the stadium. It was tough saying my goodbyes to everyone. “I felt like I was really starting to get somewhere and I could have seen myself staying at the club for a very long time and going places with Bradford. “Being an ever-present (last season) is probably the biggest kind of irony. “The season before we had that incredible season and got promoted into a much tougher league and I have now probably had my best ever season. “But in football, sometimes it’s time to move on and it seemed to get to that stage this summer, unfortunately. “I tried everything I could to see if there was a way to stay, but in the end the best move was to make a clean break and look for a fresh challenge and start.” He added: “The club and myself came a long way since I joined after they were relegated to League Two. “I feel I have grown with the club and become more and more established with the club having also improved all along. “It’s been a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better start in professional football after coming from non-league and working for a living. “It’s great Bradford have been my first club, although it would have been nice if it was a little bit longer. “But I am now looking forward to life at Burton and seeing how far we can kick on. “There have been opportunities at clubs in other divisions. But a concrete offer from a club like Burton doesn’t feel like a drop down in division or class as they have been a team who in the past two years have been unlucky not to reach League One.”[/p][/quote]I am very sorry to see Jon leave. It is indeed ironical after being ever present last season and flourishing as a keeper he has to depart. I wish him all the best for the future. I'm sure he still has a good career in front of him because he is still young for a goalkeeper. Peter300
  • Score: 12

10:38am Wed 23 Jul 14

Peter300 says...

silverbantam wrote:
McLaughlin told The Yorkshire Post: “Unfortunately, it’s part of life in football, but it doesn’t ease the blow after being at a good club like Bradford for so long.

“When you have been at a club for so long, you pretty much know everyone closely at the club, not just players and staff, but everyone who works at the stadium. It was tough saying my goodbyes to everyone.

“I felt like I was really starting to get somewhere and I could have seen myself staying at the club for a very long time and going places with Bradford.

“Being an ever-present (last season) is probably the biggest kind of irony.

“The season before we had that incredible season and got promoted into a much tougher league and I have now probably had my best ever season.

“But in football, sometimes it’s time to move on and it seemed to get to that stage this summer, unfortunately.

“I tried everything I could to see if there was a way to stay, but in the end the best move was to make a clean break and look for a fresh challenge and start.”

He added: “The club and myself came a long way since I joined after they were relegated to League Two.

“I feel I have grown with the club and become more and more established with the club having also improved all along.

“It’s been a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better start in professional football after coming from non-league and working for a living.

“It’s great Bradford have been my first club, although it would have been nice if it was a little bit longer.

“But I am now looking forward to life at Burton and seeing how far we can kick on.

“There have been opportunities at clubs in other divisions. But a concrete offer from a club like Burton doesn’t feel like a drop down in division or class as they have been a team who in the past two years have been unlucky not to reach League One.”
I would also add, that although Jon did not progress through City's youth system, he was signed from a local club as a young player. It took some time to finally establish himself as the no.1 keeper and prove his ability by being ever present in a League One side. Like all keepers he will make mistakes which cost goals, but he saved far more points for City with his confident goalkeeping.
[quote][p][bold]silverbantam[/bold] wrote: McLaughlin told The Yorkshire Post: “Unfortunately, it’s part of life in football, but it doesn’t ease the blow after being at a good club like Bradford for so long. “When you have been at a club for so long, you pretty much know everyone closely at the club, not just players and staff, but everyone who works at the stadium. It was tough saying my goodbyes to everyone. “I felt like I was really starting to get somewhere and I could have seen myself staying at the club for a very long time and going places with Bradford. “Being an ever-present (last season) is probably the biggest kind of irony. “The season before we had that incredible season and got promoted into a much tougher league and I have now probably had my best ever season. “But in football, sometimes it’s time to move on and it seemed to get to that stage this summer, unfortunately. “I tried everything I could to see if there was a way to stay, but in the end the best move was to make a clean break and look for a fresh challenge and start.” He added: “The club and myself came a long way since I joined after they were relegated to League Two. “I feel I have grown with the club and become more and more established with the club having also improved all along. “It’s been a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better start in professional football after coming from non-league and working for a living. “It’s great Bradford have been my first club, although it would have been nice if it was a little bit longer. “But I am now looking forward to life at Burton and seeing how far we can kick on. “There have been opportunities at clubs in other divisions. But a concrete offer from a club like Burton doesn’t feel like a drop down in division or class as they have been a team who in the past two years have been unlucky not to reach League One.”[/p][/quote]I would also add, that although Jon did not progress through City's youth system, he was signed from a local club as a young player. It took some time to finally establish himself as the no.1 keeper and prove his ability by being ever present in a League One side. Like all keepers he will make mistakes which cost goals, but he saved far more points for City with his confident goalkeeping. Peter300
  • Score: 3

2:37pm Wed 23 Jul 14

whisky1 says...

Thoughtful stuff from JMAC. PP obviously has to eek out his budget and probably thought they had gone far enough to keep him. Shame for both sides.
Thoughtful stuff from JMAC. PP obviously has to eek out his budget and probably thought they had gone far enough to keep him. Shame for both sides. whisky1
  • Score: 3

4:37pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Michael Clayton says...

whisky1 wrote:
Thoughtful stuff from JMAC. PP obviously has to eek out his budget and probably thought they had gone far enough to keep him. Shame for both sides.
Yes. It is a shame. And it really goes to show how little we know. A few weeks ago, I would not have predicted the retention of Meredith and the departure of McLaughlin; I envisaged the opposite outcome.
[quote][p][bold]whisky1[/bold] wrote: Thoughtful stuff from JMAC. PP obviously has to eek out his budget and probably thought they had gone far enough to keep him. Shame for both sides.[/p][/quote]Yes. It is a shame. And it really goes to show how little we know. A few weeks ago, I would not have predicted the retention of Meredith and the departure of McLaughlin; I envisaged the opposite outcome. Michael Clayton
  • Score: 2

9:14pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Plastic Bantam says...

Freddy wrote:
Another loan keeper as Sub. ?
Not an issue
[quote][p][bold]Freddy[/bold] wrote: Another loan keeper as Sub. ?[/p][/quote]Not an issue Plastic Bantam
  • Score: 2

11:35pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Waynus1971 says...

Oh, the fans amongst our midst are going to have a field day. Apparently, "He will make mistakes - the same as every keeper. He might cost you half a dozen goals a season....."

Doesn't really matter that it went on to say he will save us a hell of a lot more. The knives will be out already from those that simply haven't got a clue!!!!
Oh, the fans amongst our midst are going to have a field day. Apparently, "He will make mistakes - the same as every keeper. He might cost you half a dozen goals a season....." Doesn't really matter that it went on to say he will save us a hell of a lot more. The knives will be out already from those that simply haven't got a clue!!!! Waynus1971
  • Score: -1

8:18am Thu 24 Jul 14

Papa Smurfs Wig says...

Good luck to both keepers.
Good luck to both keepers. Papa Smurfs Wig
  • Score: -1

7:01pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Papa Smurfs Wig says...

Only s L***s fan could give me a thumbs down for wishing them both well unless its a JMac hater, ha ha.
Only s L***s fan could give me a thumbs down for wishing them both well unless its a JMac hater, ha ha. Papa Smurfs Wig
  • Score: -2

11:25pm Thu 24 Jul 14

macca1969 says...

Waynus1971 wrote:
Oh, the fans amongst our midst are going to have a field day. Apparently, "He will make mistakes - the same as every keeper. He might cost you half a dozen goals a season....."

Doesn't really matter that it went on to say he will save us a hell of a lot more. The knives will be out already from those that simply haven't got a clue!!!!
You must be sharpening yours then as so far you have not been imprdssed by one of parkys signings!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Waynus1971[/bold] wrote: Oh, the fans amongst our midst are going to have a field day. Apparently, "He will make mistakes - the same as every keeper. He might cost you half a dozen goals a season....." Doesn't really matter that it went on to say he will save us a hell of a lot more. The knives will be out already from those that simply haven't got a clue!!!![/p][/quote]You must be sharpening yours then as so far you have not been imprdssed by one of parkys signings!!!! macca1969
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree