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Bradford City delighted to get something for nothing with Alan Connell deal
City saved themselves £75,000 by biding their time before snapping up Alan Connell.
The striker played 30 minutes of last night’s 4-0 win at Wexford Youths in Ireland, his first appearance for the club after joining from Swindon on Friday.
Connell signed for City for no fee after the League Two champions agreed to settle his contract with a year still to run.
Joint-chairman Mark Lawn praised Swindon for their help in smoothing the move – and felt it justified City’s decision not to rush in.
Connell was the eighth capture of the summer but Lawn had sensed a few rumbles about how long it was taking to bring in another forward, especially after the long-running interest in Andy Gray ran its course.
Lawn said: “All these people were telling us that we needed to get a striker in early. But if we had tried to do the deal for Connell at the back end of May, it would have cost us £75,000.
“That was what Swindon were asking for at the time. But we were sensible and did it at no cost to us other than his wages.”
Connell bagged 13 goals in Swindon’s title win but found himself out of Paulo Di Canio’s plans and was left at home for the club’s training camp in Italy.
Lawn was impressed that they did not try to hamper Connell’s attempts to get a move.
He said: “We really appreciated how professional they have been. It makes a refreshing change to deal with a club that conduct themselves in such an appropriate manner.
“Swindon realised they didn’t want him but could still have made some money. They knew Alan had to move on to benefit his career and helped him to do that.”
Connell has settled in well since meeting his team-mates for the first time in Dublin.
And he revealed that City were the victims of one of his top goals, a stunning left-foot drive for Bournemouth in December 2004.
Connell said: “That’s definitely one of the favourite goals of my career. It was up against Peter Atherton and David Wetherall, so Bradford had a very good defence.
“My aim now is to hopefully strike a few like that for Bradford instead of against them.”