JAMES Ford admits he loves the new-found rivalry between the Bulls and York.

The pair face each other again in Sunday’s final friendly at Dewsbury – before locking horns properly in round two of the Championship in just over a fortnight.

The competition between the sides has been intense since they both won promotion from League One in 2018 and Ford relishes the emotion that their battles create.

He said: “I think it’s fantastic. We’ve got a lot of respect for Bradford.

“They are a big club and I think they are on their way back to where they were when I was a young lad growing up watching.

“I watched people like Robbie Paul and Paul Anderson etc in front of crowds of 20,000. John (Kear) is doing a really good job in taking them back there.

“I’m sure they have got some sensible leadership at the top of the club now which hopefully will continue making slow progress back to where Bradford can get to.

“In the meantime, we just love being Bradford’s rivals and the emotions of the games, which are always so close.”

York won both duels last season, including a dramatic 25-24 thriller at Bootham Crescent settled by a last-gasp drop goal. There were also some heated scenes on the touchlines.

Ford added: “The games tend to go either way and I think we bring the best out of each other as clubs – and probably the worst.

“I got a touchline ban at Odsal and slipped up a little at Bootham Crescent as well with a couple of out-of-turn words to one of the Bradford players.

“It shows the passion and emotion between the sides and how much it means.”