GREG Abbott is set for a Valley Parade return in the next few days as City’s new chief scout.

The 52-year-old is leaving his job with Cambridge United to come back to the club where he played more than 300 games.

Having already recruited Robert Lossau and Steve Banks, the arrival of former team-mate Abbott to fill the hole left by Tim Breacker's exit will complete Stuart McCall's backroom staff.

McCall and Abbott are firm friends from their playing days but chief operating officer James Mason insists the appointment is based purely on his professional record.

Joint-owner Edin Rahic was hugely impressed during their interview and Mason said: "We're keen to stress that this is far from an old boys' network. The right person for the job is all we are interested in.

"Myself and Julian (Rhodes) have seen at first-hand how Greg operated at Notts County. He's somebody who is a real football man and understands the game at every level.

"Greg came to a number of games last season as a scout with MK Dons and you couldn't help but be enthused by his knowledge of players. That excites us.

"Greg spent a number of hours with Edin and the final decision to appoint him was unanimous. Greg's interview blew us away with his encyclopaedic knowledge and his database of players was up there with any other applicant.

"He brings contacts that we couldn't have got to. He has dealt with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and has links with Premier League clubs and throughout the football pyramid.

"To a lesser extent, he also understands Bradford City; the social fabric of the place and what we are all about. It's a challenge that he wanted.

"Yes, we had to prise him away from a very good job at Cambridge United where he was building something for the future, which I think they will see the benefit from. We're very grateful for their assistance.

"But we're sure Greg will bring an infrastructure to this club, not just for the season coming up but in the future."

After hanging up his boots, Abbott spent a decade coaching with Leeds at youth levels. He went on to be number two and then manager at Carlisle and assistant to Shaun Derry with Notts County.

Derry took him to Cambridge as head of recruitment at the end of April but the chance to rejoin City – the club Abbott admits is the closest to his heart – was an enticing opportunity.

Cambridge CEO Jez George said: “He is based in the north of England and given his history at Valley Parade, Bradford City are very much his club.

"Looking back at his playing career, he spent over ten seasons in total with the club, winning the Division Three Title and also played with their current manager, so it’s probably the only job he would leave Cambridge United to take on."

Banks began as the club's new goalkeeping coach yesterday, working with Joe Cracknell and a couple of German hopefuls.

The squad for the first full week of pre-season looks much healthier in size because of the number of trialists.

They were being put through their paces by Lossau, the former fitness coach with Wolfsburg who has succeeded Nick Allamby.

Mason said: "Robert brings a wealth of experience within football and other sports.

"As with Greg, his appointment wasn't one person's decision. Stuart is very happy with him and they spent two weeks working together first.

"Robert will bring other dimensions to our play. The German national team and domestic league are arguably the strongest in the world right now. It would be foolish not to try to tap into that and we feel this is a mix of British football mentality and German excellence.

"Undeniably it's been a tough period. Things progressed very quickly with Phil (Parkinson) going to Bolton and having to then build a new management and coaching staff left us with a real challenge and not a large amount of time. But we're delighted with our new team. We've not rushed into things.

"We're also hoping to confirm a couple of big commercial contracts, including a new stadium sponsorship. The jigsaw pieces are now beginning to fall into place."