CITY need to recruit characters to give them the best chance of promotion, according to former player Ian Ormondroyd.

The ex-Bantams striker, who scored 26 goals in 125 appearances during two spells at Valley Parade, says it is going to be a difficult summer for the club.

He believes manager Gary Bowyer needs to channel the spirit of the Phil Parkinson era and recruit characters like Stephen Darby and Gary Jones as they look to bounce back from this season's relegation from League One.

Ormondroyd, who is chief executive of the Bradford City Community Foundation, said: "They are going to lose a lot of players and quite a lot of players have been released.

"They need to rebuild the squad, there has been quite a big turnaround. Some players are still under contract, but I'm not savvy to that information.

"The new manager seems very, very good. He's very nice and has been very pleasant to me. He's very keen on community work we do. Hopefully he will be able to turn it around on the pitch.

"Last year will go down as a total disaster really. It's gone now, they've got to plan for next season and want them to do their best.

"It's a massive summer for the club.

"I'm confident we can do it and get promoted. It's about player recruitment and budget, if they get a decent budget for League Two.

"They need to try to get some characters in the team.

"When they last had some success around 2013 and 2014 they had Stephen Darby, Rory McArdle and Gary Jones; they had characters with a deep passion for the club, a deep passion for the fans and wanting to succeed.

"Last year did we have that? I'm not too sure.

"That's what we need, to get some guys in with some character."

City's bid to get promoted at the first time of asking next season will be backed by another healthy crowd for each home game, following sales of more than 13,000 season tickets, a sum which surprised Ormondroyd after their sorry campaign.

He added: "I was astounded by the season ticket sales. They sold more than 13,000. I thought they would sell between 7,000 and 8,000. That's fantastic."

Meanwhile, Ormondroyd also backed Aston Villa to win the Championship play-off final at Wembley on May 27.

He played for both Villa and their final opponents Derby County during his 13-year career.

He added: "It's good to see two of my ex-clubs in the final, it's pleasing to see.

"If you had to nail me down, I would go for Villa as I played there longer. I was only at Derby for six months. I had a better time at Villa, we finished second in 1990 and could have won the league.

"The games over the last couple of weeks have restored your faith in football, after Liverpool, Tottenham and the Leeds v Derby games."

Go to for more information on the Bradford City Community Foundation.