CITY have struck the right balance with their pre-season programme, according to Gary Bowyer.

The Bantams have lined up a seven-match warm-up schedule, headed by the Valley Parade visit from newly-crowned European champions Liverpool.

That star-studded friendly on July 14 is the obvious stand-out in the build-up to the League Two campaign.

City also face Wigan and Rochdale as well as non-league neighbours Guiseley, Brighouse, Eccleshill and Garry Thompson's Bradford (Park Avenue).

Bowyer said: “The pre-season games were planned with a purpose in mind. We’re not just taking them for the sake of it.

“Each game will present a different challenge and scenario for us geared towards making us better not only from a physical fitness point of view but the technical and tactical side as well.

“Predominantly speaking, we’re going to be without possession a lot against Liverpool, which will then make us work hard off the ball.

“We might have a behind-closed-doors one as well but we feel it is a good balance and mix of games.”

Bowyer has made the decision not to take the players on a pre-season tour, although there will be “team-bonding” exercises to break up the training regime.

He added: “I think that sometimes you go away in the first week or two and haven’t quite got the squad together. It can defeat the object.

“So, we’re doing it a little bit different and maintaining those team-bonding exercises and trips throughout the course of pre-season rather than just a block week.”

The absence of any lengthy away trips should also guarantee good crowds. Bowyer believes it is only fair that City support their local clubs – and help the fans.

"You have a personal responsibility to maintain that connection between the club and the local community,” he said.

“You should try to play as much as you can in the local area to build those relationships. I think it’s important.

“Not only that, it makes it easier for the supporters. They spend a hell of a lot of money travelling up and down the country through the season, so to then do it pre-season would be a bit of an ask for them.

“We’ve tried to make sure that we centre it around that as well.”