Bantams head to Rochdale mob-handed

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Gary Jones, Rory McArdle and Will Atkinson, pictured, were all Rochdale players the last time City went to Spotland in 2010 Gary Jones, Rory McArdle and Will Atkinson, pictured, were all Rochdale players the last time City went to Spotland in 2010

Will Atkinson reckons City’s Rochdale mafia can treat their return to Spotland as a home from home tonight.

It will be quite a reunion, with Atkinson one of FOUR Bantams players with Dale connections, including their record appearance-holder Gary Jones.

And Phil Parkinson’s number two Steve Parkin also managed the club for 279 games during two spells in charge.

Jones played 533 times in a Rochdale shirt, scoring 80 goals, and the Dale Trust plan to present him with honorary lifetime membership.

Atkinson’s record of 36 appearances in two loan stints does not compare but he did play his part alongside him in the Rochdale side that went up three seasons ago – the first time they had been promoted for 41 years.

Jones and Atkinson were both playing for Rochdale when Peter Taylor’s City beat them 3-1 on their last visit in February 2010. Rory McArdle was also on the home bench for that game.

Defender Stephen Darby, meanwhile, was with Rochdale last season before signing for City in the summer.

Midfielder Atkinson said: “When the fixture-list comes out, you always look to see when you’re playing against your old clubs. I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure the others feel the same.

“We’re Bradford City players now so it’s business as normal. You go there with the mindset to win the game and will do everything to achieve that.

“But I think it helps that you know the surroundings, the changing rooms and everything round the ground. You think back to the good times there.

“Hopefully that will give me and the other lads who’ve played for Rochdale some confidence. Make us feel a bit more at home and ready to go out and really shine.”

Parkinson insists nobody will be distracted by the close connections as City look to respond instantly from suffering their first Valley Parade defeat on Saturday.

He said: “There is a big Rochdale contingent going back to their old club and I’m sure there will be a few handshakes and people welcoming them back.

“But as soon as the whistle goes, you focus on your job. We’re professional enough to do that.”

The loss to Port Vale ended a run of four straight wins but City were positive in defeat. Atkinson could see plenty of good points to take from it.

“We all know it’s a results-based business. But if you perform to that level every week, nine times out of ten you’ll walk away with the points.

“We’ve got players coming back from injury so competition is getting more fierce. The standard in training is rising all the time and confidence is high.”

Nahki Wells was denied a goal on Saturday to celebrate signing his new contract but the Bermudian striker is delighted to get the three-year deal done.

Wells said: “I’m happy I can now focus on what we need to do, which is to get promotion. Hopefully I can help the club move forward.

“I got a lot of thank yous and that shows the fans have a lot of faith in me. Hopefully it works out and I get better as a player while the club get that promotion we need.

“As a player, you always have ambitions to get to the highest league. But there’s nothing better than climbing your way up with the club and making history.

“It won’t be easy but with the characters that we’ve brought in, the gaffer himself and the coaching staff, the fans can start to have belief. I don’t see why we can’t.”

Comments (5)

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10:50am Tue 2 Oct 12

lawsonio123 says...

Its Good to see the Players have faith and beleive they can go up this year.They seem to be a team that have the makings of a good side. they are getting good support and long may that continue.Vocal support can mean a great deal to these players so lets keep it up.Dont moan if one of them is having a poor game they are only human and not robots.CITY FOR DIV 1
Its Good to see the Players have faith and beleive they can go up this year.They seem to be a team that have the makings of a good side. they are getting good support and long may that continue.Vocal support can mean a great deal to these players so lets keep it up.Dont moan if one of them is having a poor game they are only human and not robots.CITY FOR DIV 1 lawsonio123
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Tue 2 Oct 12

bcfc1903 says...

I've seen nothing to suggest anything other than Bradford City having one of the best squads if not the best squad in league two. One poor performance in 12 league and cup games says this group of players have the ability and consistency to be in the top three this season. From the folk i've talked to about the Rochdale game, it looks like a massive Bradford army will be taking Rochdale over tonight. Good luck, loud and proud support!!!!!
I've seen nothing to suggest anything other than Bradford City having one of the best squads if not the best squad in league two. One poor performance in 12 league and cup games says this group of players have the ability and consistency to be in the top three this season. From the folk i've talked to about the Rochdale game, it looks like a massive Bradford army will be taking Rochdale over tonight. Good luck, loud and proud support!!!!! bcfc1903
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Tue 2 Oct 12

citygent1978 says...

still have the same problems at the back when we push up we are easily counterattacked and that's where most of the other teams goals have come from stretching back to the gills. i agree with bcfc1903 we do have one of the best teams in the division and a real chance of going up. a slump is not what we need and i think PP will have them fired up today and the boys going back will be eager to have a good game. when ex players come to us they usually score or have a blinder lets hope that's what happens tonight-

a flying start with two quick goals

final score Rochdale 2 City 0

id be happy with a point setting off soon!!!!!!!!
still have the same problems at the back when we push up we are easily counterattacked and that's where most of the other teams goals have come from stretching back to the gills. i agree with bcfc1903 we do have one of the best teams in the division and a real chance of going up. a slump is not what we need and i think PP will have them fired up today and the boys going back will be eager to have a good game. when ex players come to us they usually score or have a blinder lets hope that's what happens tonight- a flying start with two quick goals final score Rochdale 2 City 0 id be happy with a point setting off soon!!!!!!!! citygent1978
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Tue 2 Oct 12

COLATS says...

citygent1978 wrote:
still have the same problems at the back when we push up we are easily counterattacked and that's where most of the other teams goals have come from stretching back to the gills. i agree with bcfc1903 we do have one of the best teams in the division and a real chance of going up. a slump is not what we need and i think PP will have them fired up today and the boys going back will be eager to have a good game. when ex players come to us they usually score or have a blinder lets hope that's what happens tonight-

a flying start with two quick goals

final score Rochdale 2 City 0

id be happy with a point setting off soon!!!!!!!!
Sad man y do u think Rochdale will win ?? 1 nil to the mighty bantams
[quote][p][bold]citygent1978[/bold] wrote: still have the same problems at the back when we push up we are easily counterattacked and that's where most of the other teams goals have come from stretching back to the gills. i agree with bcfc1903 we do have one of the best teams in the division and a real chance of going up. a slump is not what we need and i think PP will have them fired up today and the boys going back will be eager to have a good game. when ex players come to us they usually score or have a blinder lets hope that's what happens tonight- a flying start with two quick goals final score Rochdale 2 City 0 id be happy with a point setting off soon!!!!!!!![/p][/quote]Sad man y do u think Rochdale will win ?? 1 nil to the mighty bantams COLATS
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Birky Neil says...

Think it's a bit strange Jones misses out from a game against his old club with a back injury or is that just me!
Think it's a bit strange Jones misses out from a game against his old club with a back injury or is that just me! Birky Neil
  • Score: 0

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