BRADFORD (Park Avenue) are hoping new signing Lewis Rathbone can follow in the footsteps of team-mates Lewis Knight and Conor Branson.

Midfielder Rathbone joined the club last week and is the latest addition to have come through the American University system.

Branson, who has recently signed a contract extension at Horsfall, and Knight, who penned a deal until 2020 in November after joining from Marshall University in the States, have both impressed.

Now Avenue hope Rathbone, who hails from Manchester and was a member of the Manchester City Academy as a youngster, can make a similar impact.

Rathbone, who is training with the squad while awaiting his international clearance from the FA, enjoyed a successful scholar period with Concordia University of Nebraska where he captained the universities squad and was named a Scholar All American in 2017.

In 2018 supporters of The Nebraska Bugeaters, who compete in the United Premier League, voted Rathbone the club's most valuable player.

Bugeaters chairman Jonathan Collura, who is a director at Avenue, said: “I am excited to see Lewis join Bradford. His commitment and competitive attitude last season was evident both on and off of the pitch.”

Avenue CEO Damian Irvine added: “Bradford have signed three ex-pats out of the US university system this season. We are finding that there is a lot of quality talent that is available and we are well placed to build on this as a conduit back to the English game."