Guy Branston joined in City’s training for the first time yesterday – and had to rein himself in.

The sturdy centre half was given an extra week’s break after helping Torquay to the play-off final but he could not wait to get back in the thick of it.

“The lads are working really hard and they had to treat me with kid gloves a little bit,” said Branston.

“I’m that ecstatic about being back and I’m all ready for action.

“They chucked me in the dressing room and on the training ground and I immediately started to get that competitive edge.

“We were playing football and I wanted to go round tackling people but had to pull myself back.

“I’ve got to be sensible at my age, work my way in and get my legs right.

“We’re working long hours and the fans probably think we deserve that from last season – and we probably do.”

Peter Jackson, who laughed off a rumour linking David Syers with Rangers, is thrilled to see Branston in the City ranks.

The Bantams boss said: “His enthusiasm is incredible. He’s as excited now as when he started out in football as an 18-year-old and that will rub off on others.

“I just felt we’ve lacked that leadership and character last season.”

Jackson is casting his eye over two new trialists – Rotherham left back Jamie Green and former Oldham keeper Greg Fleming, although the Scottish stopper dislocated his finger in the first hour yesterday. American Steve Arau has not been kept on.

Meanwhile, reports in the north-east are linking City with former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Tommy Miller, who is also interesting Hartlepool.

Having missed out on Gary Jones of Rochdale, the Bantams are trying to tie up a mystery target later this week.