Clarke: I know that Bradford City will pack a punch

Billy Clarke settles in to his new surroundings during City's first week of pre-season training

Billy Clarke settles in to his new surroundings during City's first week of pre-season training

First published in Sport
Last updated

CITY new boy Billy Clarke has no fears about the fighting spirit of his latest club after witnessing the infamous brawl with Crawley.

Five players were red-carded after the final whistle – and another was later suspended – during the Valley Parade free-for-all two years ago that drew national headlines.

Striker Clarke was on the visiting bench that night in March 2012 and got a “ring-side” view as punches were flying.

Andrew Davies and Jon McLaughlin were among those given their marching orders – and the Irishman has been quick to mention it since teaming up with them for pre-season.

He said: “I’ve had a bit of a joke with them about what went on. We've had a laugh but I know not to mess now!

“I was nowhere near it at the end because I wasn’t on the pitch so I was just looking on like the rest. But it was completely mad.”

Clarke, 26, rejected the chance of a return to the Championship this summer when he left the Broadfield Stadium to join Phil Parkinson’s Valley Parade overhaul.

He has featured in the second tier for Ipswich and Blackpool but was not prepared to go back to a bit-part role.

“There was a possibility of me going back to the Championship,” he added. “But ultimately I left Blackpool to play games.

“That’s why I went to Crawley in the first place. Being a squad player in a Championship club is nothing compared with playing regularly at a different level.

“If you play most games during the season and then go back to not being involved so much, it would be tough. Hopefully I can play regularly here.”

Clarke is finding his feet after the first week back at Apperley Bridge and feels he has settled in quickly. He is not fazed by the Nick Allamby training regime.

“It’s still early days but there have been some good running sessions

“I spoke to the manager beforehand and he did mention the fitness level of the team. But football everywhere now is about technical fitness.

“Look at the top players. You see Jose Mourinho bark on about it to Eden Hazard for not tracking back.

“You’ve got to play at both ends of the pitch, it’s part and parcel of the game now. But general fitness is something I’ve never had a problem with.”

Comments (3)

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8:55am Sat 5 Jul 14

bcfc1903 says...

Let's hope we knock a few teams out of the cup games, skip past all the teams in the league, box clever in the transfer market, land a few early blows before setting off on a long run to become champions.

I'll get me coat :-)
Let's hope we knock a few teams out of the cup games, skip past all the teams in the league, box clever in the transfer market, land a few early blows before setting off on a long run to become champions. I'll get me coat :-) bcfc1903
  • Score: 24

10:57am Sat 5 Jul 14

torreyman says...

Well said lets hope it all comes true but us Bradford City fans are used to a rocky ride it would not be the same with out one would it ????
Well said lets hope it all comes true but us Bradford City fans are used to a rocky ride it would not be the same with out one would it ???? torreyman
  • Score: 4

1:34pm Sat 5 Jul 14

lawsonio123 says...

A Great quote bcfc1903 A Dream but dreams can come true look at our cup run and promotion just think if your dream came only75% true our support would rocket the world would be our Oyster more power to your pen my friend
A Great quote bcfc1903 A Dream but dreams can come true look at our cup run and promotion just think if your dream came only75% true our support would rocket the world would be our Oyster more power to your pen my friend lawsonio123
  • Score: 2

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