JAMES Hanson will put work and family first after agreeing to extend his career by another year with Bradford (Park Avenue).

The Valley Parade icon has committed to a season in the eighth tier with relegated Avenue following his brief stint at the club.

But he will be missing during the opening month of the campaign – to go on holiday.

The 36-year-old has signed up on a pay-as-you-play deal, which he feels suits him and the club.

“This is probably the first time in my career where work will come first before football,” said Hanson, who recently passed his HGV class one driving exam.

“I told Avenue I won’t be able to commit all the time and also threw in that I’ve got a family holiday booked in August!

“But I was happy to do it where it helps both parties. I didn’t want to be taking money off the club if I’m injured or not available.

“It will be a case of when I can make it, I’ll go up and play.

“It’s a win-win really, it keeps me fit and ticking over and also there’s not too much pressure on me to play every week or every Tuesday night if I physically can’t make it.”

Hanson, whose 91 goals for City puts him third on their all-time scoring list, announced he was hanging up his boots in January after finishing playing for Worksop Town.

But Avenue lured him back to make a few cameo appearances at the end of the season – and he has loved being involved at Horsfall.

“I had four or five calls about two weeks after I’d come out and said I’d retired.

“They were all local clubs and, to be honest, none of them really appealed to me. I wanted a bit of time off.

“But Park Avenue kept ringing and texting me. It got to the last month of the season, I spoke to my partner and she was happy for me to go and help them out.

“I was honest with them and told them that I wasn’t their man if they wanted me to play straight away. I’d played one game all season.

“It was maybe a bit of a ploy for them to get some more fans through the gate.

“But they were quite happy for me to do more off the field and maybe contribute on it when I could. I’ve really enjoyed it despite Park Avenue going down.

“They are a very young side and I liked helping them out and just being around the place.

“They looked after my family and kids really well on match days and that was the main thing behind me wanting to stay.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: James Hanson scored four goals for Bradford City VetsJames Hanson scored four goals for Bradford City Vets (Image: Linda Gartland)

“We travel in together at 1pm and all be leaving at 5.30pm. No disrespect to Worksop but it was a little bit too far and I was travelling in with the coaches, which meant my day was 10am to seven at night.

“This is a lot more family-oriented. I can bring my kids and they love it up there.”

Hanson scored his first Avenue goal on the final day of the season at Matlock – and four more for the Bradford City Vets the next day in a game in aid of former Bantam Allan Gilliver and local dementia charities.

“I actually got five but one was given offside even though it didn’t look it,” he laughed.

“It was a quality day and obviously a great cause for Gilly. There was a fantastic turn-out and it was good to see those I’ve played with as well as others who have had a decent Bradford career.

“I played 45 minutes against Matlock and then the full 90 for the Vets. I did start to feel a bit sharper.

“I’ve been doing a bit of boxing in the garage, I’ve got a punch bag in there. There’s also a treadmill, cross trainer and bike – so I’m doing more and I get away from the kids for a couple of hours!”

Driving jobs will rule him out for one Saturday in four but Hanson hopes his know-how can benefit Danny Whitaker’s squad as they look to bounce back from the Northern Premier League East division.

“That was the league we were in when I first signed at Worksop and we won it by 30-40 points. I know the level pretty well.

“I think the manager has tried to sign a little bit more experience as well so there’s a good mixture.

“Things are looking up for Avenue. As much as they may not have the money of other clubs, they do try to do it the best way and as professionally as they can.

“Sometimes you have to take a couple of steps back to go forward.

“It obviously hurts for Avenue fans and players but if we’re to come back stronger next year and get back to the Northern Premier League with a better squad, then we can look at rebuilding.”