CITY are keen to continue nurturing their “crucial” relationship with Leeds.

Jordan Stevens last week followed Bryce Hosannah in making a loan move from Elland Road.

They have joined former team-mate Paudie O’Connor in strengthening the Leeds connection at the Bantams.

Hopes of adding Leeds striker Ryan Edmondson are receding but City see the link with their Premier League neighbours as a profitable one.

Chief executive Ryan Sparks said: “Bradford and Leeds derbies are something I’ve been associated with throughout my career. I can totally understand the rivalry aspect.

“When the games are played between the two cities, in whatever sport, it’s always a real attraction. It’s a big event.

“But on a more footballing level, our relationship with Leeds United – as well as Huddersfield Town and Barnsley – is not only improving but very important.

“We’re stronger if we’re working with the clubs.

“The Leeds relationship has already borne fruit a few times with Paudie O’Connor, Bryce Hosannah and now Jordan Stevens.”

Hosannah is currently recovering from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since Stuart McCall’s last game in charge against Oldham.

He is still to feature for Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars but Leeds are content for the defender to stay with City for the rest of the season.

Sparks added: “That’s obviously a huge boost. Whatever happens with Bryce Hosannah in the future, he will return to Leeds United an improved player.

“They have extended his contract which probably means they are quite happy with what he has been doing here.

“Yes, things haven’t started well for us this season but he’s been a part of some difficult situations that will make him stronger.

“Hopefully, we can kick on now and he can enjoy the other side of that coin.

“The relationship (with Leeds) has always been there but it’s something we’re working harder on – particularly going into the future when the sport will look very different at League One and League Two level.

“It’s really crucial that we are able to attract players to Bradford City that we probably couldn’t afford within the realms of the salary cap.

“It works both ways. They get excellent opportunities to play in league football and we get to enhance our squad with Premier League-potential players.

“Leeds United can look at us with some trust knowing that their players are not only going to develop but possibly improve.

“I personally have got a good relationship with (director of football) Victor Orta. We owe him a great deal of gratitude.

“There is good synergy between the two clubs – their club secretary (Hannah Cox) was previously here and I speak to a lot of the people over there.

“Both Mark and Conor have naturally got good relationships with their academy staff from their previous roles. That’s another area where the two clubs can work together.”

Trueman is looking forward to having Hosannah available again next month.

“Bryce will be a good player for us,” said the City interim boss. “We know his strengths and I think he was one of the better players in the first half of the season from what I watched.

“Hopefully, he can come back and continue that form.

“Bryce and Reece (Staunton) are hopefully on target to returning. The weeks are going that quick and they are progressing well.

“That relationship with Leeds is great and they gave us Jordan as well. There was competition for him.

“Hopefully he can perform for us like he has done in a Leeds shirt.

“Our relationship with Leeds is strong at the moment and will hopefully get stronger.”