EARLIER this month, when boss Mark Bower signed a long-term contract to remain at Bradford (Park Avenue), the Horsfall faithful were delighted.

However, Bower will be the first one to admit that his achievements as a manager haven’t come from all his own doing.

Right hand man Danny Boshell has played a crucial role in forming a partnership which has battled against the odds together for more than seven years.

Speaking to the T&A, Boshell said: “We have known each other since we were five years old.

“We went to all the same schools together. Mark was the year above me in school. I used to play in all his teams and we lived close by.

“Our paths in our professional career took us in different directions and then we ended up at Guiseley with each other.”

It was at Nethermoor where the duo enjoyed the majority of their success, gaining promotion to the National League through the play-offs in 2015.

After securing safety on the last day the season after, Bower and Boshell received the chop only five games into the 2016/17 campaign.

With Bradford in dire straits at the wrong end of the National League North table at the time, the club turned to the two local lads.

Boshell recalled: “We were quite a few points adrift when we came in the September.

“People were asking why we took the job on, but we knew there was a core and there was more in them.

“It was a big achievement to stay up in that first season with Park Avenue. It probably betters promotion in a different sort of way because we looked dead and buried.”

The pair worked wonders the next two seasons, fighting to consecutive play-off finishes before falling short.

“That was a massive achievement because Avenue had never been there before,” Boshell said.

“You are looking at the teams you are competing against in that league, they were full time and our budget was probably in the bottom five.

“In the first year we lost to Brackley in extra time and we were the better team. We did it the year after, even with the things going on at the time.”

Bower was not the only one to feature in the Football League. His sidekick made over 200 appearances in the professional game for the likes of Oldham Athletic, Stockport County and Grimsby Town. It was at the latter where he will sadly be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

To set the scene, imagine if you had the chance to give your side a great chance of lifting a trophy at Wembley.

“I took the penalties at the time,” Boshell said. “I scored two against Chesterfield that season. I always felt confident of scoring.

“What an absolute save it was from Willy Gueret (laughs).

“I was gutted. It probably took me 10 minutes during the game to sort my head out. The best players in the world miss penalties. Unfortunately for me it was at Wembley in a final.”

On that day in 2008, MK Dons went on to win 2-0 and climbed those famous steps to collect the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Around that time, there were rumours circulating that Boshell was poised for a return to his birthplace. However, the midfielder thinks timing was the main issue.

He said: “I got asked a few times if I'd like to go when Stuart McCall was at City. It just never materialised.

“I probably would have gone if the opportunity arose but it just never came around. I was under contract at other clubs and it just never happened.”

These days, the 39-year-old does occasionally get back on the pitch for Avenue but knows he is better served in the dugout.

“I was on the bench a few times last year, that was when we were down to the bare bones,” he said.

“You try to use your experience but it doesn’t feel the same. You come on and your body doesn’t feel right, your legs aren’t doing what your mind wants them to do and that’s when you know it's time.

“I think I have had my time now and I just pass down my knowledge and experience to the players.”

Finally, Boshell outlined the dynamics he and his old pal Bower now have and what supporters can expect next season when football is safe enough to resume.

He said: “You are a managerial team. Mark is the manager and he has the final say, end of story. We have our differences of opinion and disagreements, which has always happened. When we win it is down to both of us and when we lose it is Mark’s fault (laughs).

“We need to be competitive on the pitch and get the last 12 months out of everyone’s mind. We want a bit of stability and to give the fans something to cheer about again.”