Bradford City: Wembley-bound Will Atkinson admits he sounds like X Factor winner as he looks back on his best bits

HEROES AND VILLANS: Will Atkinson times his tackle to perfection to dispossess Gabriel Agbonlahor in the semi-final first leg against Villa

HEROES AND VILLANS: Will Atkinson times his tackle to perfection to dispossess Gabriel Agbonlahor in the semi-final first leg against Villa

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

Squint hard enough and Will Atkinson could just about pass himself off as the next James Arthur.

The much-improved City midfielder certainly sounds like an X Factor winner as he tries to absorb the enormity of reaching the Capital One Cup final.

And unlike the candyfloss singers who burst into the public eye and are just as quickly forgotten, what the Bantams have achieved this season will live on in football’s history books.

Sorry Mr Arthur, nothing is Impossible. No wonder that Atkinson dropped into the language of the reality TV wannabe.

“I know it sounds clichéd but it’s been like a journey,” he said. “It’s only later that you’ll realise what we have done and how far we’ve come.

“I sound like an X Factor contestant but it’s been incredible. It will take a long, long time to sink in.”

Atkinson could be excused for enjoying the Wembley limelight more than most. After enduring a tough Bantams baptism on loan last season, he could never have foreseen a run like this in his wildest dreams.

Look at the starting line-up from City’s corresponding fixture this time last year at Bristol Rovers. Atkinson and the front two are the only likely survivors when Phil Parkinson names his first 11 at Fleetwood tomorrow.

Having endured some really wretched moments, Atkinson has come out the other side. But he admits the enormity of the cup run will only be appreciated in years to come.

“Seeing Bradford City all over the back pages of the national papers will take a long time to get your head round.

“That will probably only happen when you’ve retired and then look back. What we’ve done being a League Two team getting to a major cup final, I don’t think it will ever be achieved again.

“It’s beyond belief but at the moment we’re just riding the wave of it.”

City have already made their mark as the first team from the fourth tier to knock off three top-flight opponents in the same League Cup campaign. Those nights against Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa are special memories that Atkinson will never forget.

He added: “I remember the incredible feeling when we won at Wigan with 5,000 Bradford supporters there. Going away to a Premier League side and defending like we did was fantastic and I didn’t think it could get any better than that.

“Then when the Arsenal team sheet came in the dressing room I was thinking ‘we’ve had a good run, let’s enjoy it’. But we thoroughly deserved to put them out.

“And nobody fancied us against Villa. Maybe in a one-off game anything is possible but over two legs you’d expect their quality to overcome us.

“The talk was just to stay in it after the first leg. Make sure we go to Villa with something to play for; we’d probably even have taken a one-goal deficit just to say that we were still in the tie.

“But to get that win at home really set it up. We knew we could do it and went down there and defended with our lives.”

Parkinson has thrown down the Wembley gauntlet for the next four league games. Atkinson knows final places are up for grabs.

“We’ve got important games between now and the final. It’s business as normal – or as normal as it can be.

“Everyone will want to be in that team come February 24. These games are our chance to prove we should get the shirt.”

Comments (13)

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11:03am Fri 1 Feb 13

theoutsider says...

Oh dear Simon, I think you need glasses if you think 'Messi' looks remotely like the x-factor warbler !.

Could explain why I sometimes find myself wondering if you and I have watched the same game ?.
Oh dear Simon, I think you need glasses if you think 'Messi' looks remotely like the x-factor warbler !. Could explain why I sometimes find myself wondering if you and I have watched the same game ?. theoutsider
  • Score: 0

11:45am Fri 1 Feb 13

MrsAngryofRidd says...

Will's comment above that nobody expected City to beat Villa.

Well I think if you cast your minds back I did and I also predicted a City v Swansea final (just wish I could pick my lottery numbers in the same way).

And as I said previously see you all at Wembley. I am predicting a City win.
Will's comment above that nobody expected City to beat Villa. Well I think if you cast your minds back I did and I also predicted a City v Swansea final (just wish I could pick my lottery numbers in the same way). And as I said previously see you all at Wembley. I am predicting a City win. MrsAngryofRidd
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Fri 1 Feb 13

moanmoanwhingewhinge says...

theoutsider wrote:
Oh dear Simon, I think you need glasses if you think 'Messi' looks remotely like the x-factor warbler !.

Could explain why I sometimes find myself wondering if you and I have watched the same game ?.
If you actually READ the article, instead of looking for things to have a go at, you'll see the article says Atkinson SOUNDS like an X-Factor winner. No doubt the games you watch involve City's players doing everything wrong all of the time.
[quote][p][bold]theoutsider[/bold] wrote: Oh dear Simon, I think you need glasses if you think 'Messi' looks remotely like the x-factor warbler !. Could explain why I sometimes find myself wondering if you and I have watched the same game ?.[/p][/quote]If you actually READ the article, instead of looking for things to have a go at, you'll see the article says Atkinson SOUNDS like an X-Factor winner. No doubt the games you watch involve City's players doing everything wrong all of the time. moanmoanwhingewhinge
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Onebrianmitchell says...

moanmoanwhingewhinge wrote:
theoutsider wrote:
Oh dear Simon, I think you need glasses if you think 'Messi' looks remotely like the x-factor warbler !.

Could explain why I sometimes find myself wondering if you and I have watched the same game ?.
If you actually READ the article, instead of looking for things to have a go at, you'll see the article says Atkinson SOUNDS like an X-Factor winner. No doubt the games you watch involve City's players doing everything wrong all of the time.
First line "Squint hard enough and Will Atkinson could just about pass himself off as the next James Arthur".

So he wasnt wrong was he?
[quote][p][bold]moanmoanwhingewhinge[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]theoutsider[/bold] wrote: Oh dear Simon, I think you need glasses if you think 'Messi' looks remotely like the x-factor warbler !. Could explain why I sometimes find myself wondering if you and I have watched the same game ?.[/p][/quote]If you actually READ the article, instead of looking for things to have a go at, you'll see the article says Atkinson SOUNDS like an X-Factor winner. No doubt the games you watch involve City's players doing everything wrong all of the time.[/p][/quote]First line "Squint hard enough and Will Atkinson could just about pass himself off as the next James Arthur". So he wasnt wrong was he? Onebrianmitchell
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Fri 1 Feb 13

bantamchris says...

Can't believe we paid up Gary Jones contract yesterday, he has been a quality player this season and at 35 surely could have seen through til end of next season.
Can't believe we paid up Gary Jones contract yesterday, he has been a quality player this season and at 35 surely could have seen through til end of next season. bantamchris
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Matnab says...

Think you will find it was the largely ineffective Ritchie Jones who has gone!
Think you will find it was the largely ineffective Ritchie Jones who has gone! Matnab
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Pablo says...

bantamchris wrote:
Can't believe we paid up Gary Jones contract yesterday, he has been a quality player this season and at 35 surely could have seen through til end of next season.
Wrong "Jones". Ritchie left.
[quote][p][bold]bantamchris[/bold] wrote: Can't believe we paid up Gary Jones contract yesterday, he has been a quality player this season and at 35 surely could have seen through til end of next season.[/p][/quote]Wrong "Jones". Ritchie left. Pablo
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Fri 1 Feb 13

bantamchris says...

Muppets!
Muppets! bantamchris
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Fri 1 Feb 13

nowt fresh says...

bantamchris wrote:
Muppets!
Hook Line & Sinker :-))
[quote][p][bold]bantamchris[/bold] wrote: Muppets![/p][/quote]Hook Line & Sinker :-)) nowt fresh
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Fri 1 Feb 13

doneBD4 says...

bantamchris wrote:
Can't believe we paid up Gary Jones contract yesterday, he has been a quality player this season and at 35 surely could have seen through til end of next season.
Clown.

Learn to read.
[quote][p][bold]bantamchris[/bold] wrote: Can't believe we paid up Gary Jones contract yesterday, he has been a quality player this season and at 35 surely could have seen through til end of next season.[/p][/quote]Clown. Learn to read. doneBD4
  • Score: 0

10:39pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Cityman23 says...

Reading on another stream that (so-called) City fans have been purchasing Wembley tickets and then selling them to fans of other clubs, i find pretty terrible.

It's obvious some (maybe a lot) of BCAFC fans (who want them) are NOT going to get tickets for this match. To then red that tickets are going to Leeds, Burnley, Huddersfield and Notts Forest fans (teams mentoned) must leave a 'bitter taste.'

I suspect th reason that some get 'carried away' in these sort of circumstances ie limits on products to be sold within a strict timeframe. It's a bit like those who buy up lots of loaves of bread (when there's a shortage) but then cause EVEN MORE shortages FOR EVERYONE ELSE!!

If you're a City fan who's done this-SHAME ON YOU! (Most likely they're the same people who religiously put CTID after each/every post!!)

The idea of offering three tickets per season ticket holder was to make sure City fans who go regulrly to home matches could go with a close friend/relative etc.


But to just buy up tickets for the sake of it, 'in a mad frenzy of accumulation' just smacks of 'greed'-and ACTUALY WILL DEPRIVE OTHER TRUE CITY FANS WHO HAVE BEEN REGULARS IN THE PAST AND WHO HAVE RELOCATED/OR THOSE WHOHAVE A JOB BUT CAN'T GO TO GAMES REGULARLYNOWADAYS/OR JUST CAN'T AFFORD A SEASON TICKET...TO MISS ONE OF THE BIG CITY MATCHES IN THE CLUB'S HISTORY!!
Reading on another stream that (so-called) City fans have been purchasing Wembley tickets and then selling them to fans of other clubs, i find pretty terrible. It's obvious some (maybe a lot) of BCAFC fans (who want them) are NOT going to get tickets for this match. To then red that tickets are going to Leeds, Burnley, Huddersfield and Notts Forest fans (teams mentoned) must leave a 'bitter taste.' I suspect th reason that some get 'carried away' in these sort of circumstances ie limits on products to be sold within a strict timeframe. It's a bit like those who buy up lots of loaves of bread (when there's a shortage) but then cause EVEN MORE shortages FOR EVERYONE ELSE!! If you're a City fan who's done this-SHAME ON YOU! (Most likely they're the same people who religiously put CTID after each/every post!!) The idea of offering three tickets per season ticket holder was to make sure City fans who go regulrly to home matches could go with a close friend/relative etc. But to just buy up tickets for the sake of it, 'in a mad frenzy of accumulation' just smacks of 'greed'-and ACTUALY WILL DEPRIVE OTHER TRUE CITY FANS WHO HAVE BEEN REGULARS IN THE PAST AND WHO HAVE RELOCATED/OR THOSE WHOHAVE A JOB BUT CAN'T GO TO GAMES REGULARLYNOWADAYS/OR JUST CAN'T AFFORD A SEASON TICKET...TO MISS ONE OF THE BIG CITY MATCHES IN THE CLUB'S HISTORY!! Cityman23
  • Score: 0

10:20am Sat 2 Feb 13

nowt fresh says...

I would suggest there are very few doing the above one of the reasons being to obtain Wembley tickets a season ticket holder has to give his/her details which would leave them in a tricky position given the tickets are traceable back to the original season ticket holder ? sorry Cityman23 but your last comments in CAPITALS DON'T WASH because an "City fan" who knew they would not be able to attend all home games was offered the chance to purchase a flexi ticket for an outlay of £25/£50 be it that Phil Parkinsons brief was to get Bradford City promoted this season that flexi ticket would have guaranteed that "City fan" a Wembley ticket for the play off's at least if we did not get auto promotion, and it would have also guarenteed the "City fans" a Wembley ticket for the "Capital One Cup Final" ..!!
I would suggest there are very few doing the above one of the reasons being to obtain Wembley tickets a season ticket holder has to give his/her details which would leave them in a tricky position given the tickets are traceable back to the original season ticket holder ? sorry Cityman23 but your last comments in CAPITALS DON'T WASH because an "City fan" who knew they would not be able to attend all home games was offered the chance to purchase a flexi ticket for an outlay of £25/£50 be it that Phil Parkinsons brief was to get Bradford City promoted this season that flexi ticket would have guaranteed that "City fan" a Wembley ticket for the play off's at least if we did not get auto promotion, and it would have also guarenteed the "City fans" a Wembley ticket for the "Capital One Cup Final" ..!! nowt fresh
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Sat 2 Feb 13

Cityman23 says...

If you look at the thread I'm referring to, you'll see a number have said they've done this. There's no 'comeback' for the BCAFC season ticket holder if said (other team) supporter who wants to attend behaves her/himself. And I am not suggesting these people wouldn't behave themselves. So why would any number be traced back?

I find it wrong that ANY supporter of another team should deprive a City fan of a ticket to a cup final where City are taking part.

THAT'S my point ..and I stand by it!
If you look at the thread I'm referring to, you'll see a number have said they've done this. There's no 'comeback' for the BCAFC season ticket holder if said (other team) supporter who wants to attend behaves her/himself. And I am not suggesting these people wouldn't behave themselves. So why would any number be traced back? I find it wrong that ANY supporter of another team should deprive a City fan of a ticket to a cup final where City are taking part. THAT'S my point ..and I stand by it! Cityman23
  • Score: 0

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