Bradford City hero James Hanson eager to keep a grip on reality

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: James Hanson celebrates after his goal earned City a place in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley James Hanson celebrates after his goal earned City a place in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley

He is City’s face of the Capital One Cup – the man who used to work in a certain corner shop.

James Hanson’s steaming header at Aston Villa has been played over and over. The youtube clip with the Spanish commentary has quickly become a sensation with fans.

But for the unassuming man of the moment, Wembley will take a backseat for the time being.

While everyone with any Bantams connection lives the fantasy of an approaching cup final, Hanson is fixed on the reality of League Two.

“The cup game isn’t for another month, so we want to be in a strong position when we get there,” he said.

“The league is so tight at the moment. Northampton put a few wins together and they sneaked up under the radar into third place – and we need to do something similar.

“Reaching Wembley still hasn’t really sunk in for me or the rest of the lads. But promotion is what real success is about and what we all want.

“You see the amount of our fans that have travelled to the Premier League grounds for the cup games. Just imagine if we went up and the success we’d get going to places like Sheffield United and some of the bigger grounds in League One.”

Phil Parkinson singled out Hanson as the epitomy of City’s unique cup run. It was fitting that the decisive goal should be scored by the local lad, who used to sell Stuart McCall his newspaper and milk.

Like the long-suffering fans, Hanson has experienced his fair share of lows and disappointment since penning that first professional contract three and a half years ago.

He said: “I don’t think we’ve ever been in the top half since I was here and never done a cup run. We’ve always struggled.

“I don’t think I’ve received one team bonus before now, so it’s hard to really describe beating Premier League sides like we have.

“All the attention has been nice. The lads and the gaffer said I should be the face of the Co-op and get a big cheque off them because of the amount of people who’ve probably had good business out of it!

“But it really is a dream come true. I always knew when I was scoring goals in non-league that I could play higher – but to do that in front of 40,000 people at Villa Park in a cup semi-final is something else.

“Without being too disrespectful, that wouldn’t happen to any League Two player. So it’s difficult to take it all in.

“But it must give everyone playing non-league hope of doing something in the game. I still see Steve Watson, my old manager at Eccleshill, who gave me the chance at first-team level.

“He helped me on the way to get the move to Guiseley and then it went on from there.

“I’d like to think they’ll be telling their players now to keep working hard because you never know what can happen.”

Hanson ended a wait of 843 minutes between goals with the 44th of his City career. It seems an age since his first for the club in a wild 5-4 shoot-out at Cheltenham.

“That was the first game I’d played up front, before that I’d be quite wide on the left,” he said.

“I remember Stuart (McCall) pulled me into the office and saying ‘you win a lot of headers out there, so I’m going to try you down the middle with two quick guys playing off you’.

“We’d been struggling for goals – I don’t think we’d scored any – but then got one in the first two minutes and the game just went crazy. I just stayed up front after that.”

Comments (7)

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9:59am Mon 28 Jan 13

s.b.c says...

Nice Guy.
Nice Guy. s.b.c
  • Score: 0

10:03am Mon 28 Jan 13

shoatsy says...

sign him up
sign him up shoatsy
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Freddy says...

*
Well Played JIM !.--( Heads -em In !!).
The way you assessed the brilliant corner kick from 'Gazza'--by moving away from the Villa defenders and heading the ball straight into the Target -was total class!
*
Do it again, and again ,and again!!
*.
* Well Played JIM !.--( Heads -em In !!). The way you assessed the brilliant corner kick from 'Gazza'--by moving away from the Villa defenders and heading the ball straight into the Target -was total class! * Do it again, and again ,and again!! *. Freddy
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Mon 28 Jan 13

lawsonio123 says...

We asked you .for a goal We said you owed us one. and you delivered.Thank you james
We asked you .for a goal We said you owed us one. and you delivered.Thank you james lawsonio123
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Mon 28 Jan 13

shoesmaker4 says...

well done james and keep them coming come on city
well done james and keep them coming come on city shoesmaker4
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Mon 28 Jan 13

bigang02 says...

so so pleased for james he has been so frustrating these last few wks i was so happy when he got the goal .hope it continues now and gets us out of this league.a dream season to be made
so so pleased for james he has been so frustrating these last few wks i was so happy when he got the goal .hope it continues now and gets us out of this league.a dream season to be made bigang02
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Waynus1971 says...

I'm made up for the big lad (yes, before some of you ask, I am serious). The way he attacked that Jones delivery was excellent. Even if he hadn't scored, his movement to lose a quality defender such as Vlar was perfect.

Nobody has ever doubted Hanson's work-rate or the defensive nature of his game. He hasn't scored enough goals of late and he, his captain and his manager had spoken of this. However, he should be so proud of himself and hopefully that should give him the confidence to really kick on.

Afterall, attacking the delivery like he did last Tuesday, why shouldn't he do this week in-week-out on League2??

Well done James and good luck in the remaining games (hope the toe holds up).
I'm made up for the big lad (yes, before some of you ask, I am serious). The way he attacked that Jones delivery was excellent. Even if he hadn't scored, his movement to lose a quality defender such as Vlar was perfect. Nobody has ever doubted Hanson's work-rate or the defensive nature of his game. He hasn't scored enough goals of late and he, his captain and his manager had spoken of this. However, he should be so proud of himself and hopefully that should give him the confidence to really kick on. Afterall, attacking the delivery like he did last Tuesday, why shouldn't he do this week in-week-out on League2?? Well done James and good luck in the remaining games (hope the toe holds up). Waynus1971
  • Score: 0

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