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Bradford City make double capture
Bradford City have unveiled two more signings in time for the opening salvo of their pre-season slog.
Garry Thompson and Stephen Darby have joined the squad which will report back to Apperley Bridge today for fitness tests.
Thompson, a long-term Bantams target, has finally arrived four years after Stuart McCall first tried to sign him.
The 31-year-old right winger, who is equally at home at centre forward, has signed an initial one-year deal with the club having the option to extend it a further season.
Former Liverpool defender Darby, 23, will fill the gap at right back after signing for two years.
He was a team-mate of Gary Jones last season on loan at Rochdale after spending the previous year with Notts County.
Darby came up through the Anfield ranks, playing alongside Robbie Threlfall in back-to-back FA Youth Cup-winning sides, as well as skippering the reserves.
He made his competitive debut in a cup tie against Tottenham in November 2008 and appeared in the Champions’ League tie with PSV Eindhoven a month later.
Darby’s first senior start was also in the Champions’ League against Fiorentina the following year.
But Liverpool opportunities were limited and he was sent out on loan for experience, most recently appearing in 40 games for Rochdale.
He said: “This is the first club I’ve signed for permanently away from Liverpool so it really feels like a new chapter in my career.”
While Darby’s capture has slipped under the radar, Thompson’s has been greeted by fans, and the man whose goal at Wembley fired Morecambe into the Football League in 2007 cannot wait to get going.
He said: “I know that people don’t like to use the term sleeping giant too often but this place really is.
“This club should be higher than where it is situated now and I want to play my part in making that happen.”
City had to fend off a late bid from Rotherham for Thompson, who was released by Scunthorpe in May.
Phil Parkinson said: “He had a bit of a difficult last season there. Garry didn’t play as much as he would have liked, even though he was fit all year.
“Now he really wants to get going again and looks in good shape. Get a good pre-season under his belt and then I think he will be a very important player for us.”