Silsden 1 Bradford City 7

Michael Flynn’s presence in last night’s opening friendly was proof of the scale of change currently sweeping through City.

The Welshman was a surprise selection for a game that was billed as being chiefly for youngsters and trialists.

But the sight of new midfield capture Ritchie Jones on the sidelines explained a lot.

After a couple of near-misses, it seems a replacement has already been found.

Flynn, linked with Bristol Rovers earlier in the summer, is not the only player with an uncertain future. The same could be said for the other seniors on duty – Luke Oliver, Robbie Threlfall and Leon Osborne.

Change is everywhere right now as the promised new broom clears away the cobwebs of last season.

No wonder the fans were out in numbers at the Asda Foundation Stadium, forcing the kick-off to be put back ten minutes.

City’s side included another fresh face, 18-year-old right back Andy Burns, snapped up from Bolton initially for the development squad.

The travelling support also got their first glimpse of two young lads that Peter Jackson is so excited about, Nialle Rodney and Scott Brown.

Rodney wasted no time in justifying the acclaim, showing composure and confidence to latch on to a Nakhi Wells through ball and slot in the opening goal on 19 minutes.

Five minutes later, Flynn had walked through to double the tally – his first goal of any sort since April 2010.

Rodney twice went close before Wells scrambled in number three from a Flynn long shot.

Jamie Green, still chasing a deal, dived low to head the fourth from Burns’ cross.

City shuffled their pack at the break as expected and brought on five substitutes, including young Irish winger Danny Kerr and Belgian age-group international Mole Kes. But the one-sided pattern of the game stayed the same.

Darren Stephenson, on for Rodney, needed only five minutes to open his account before the hard-working Wells made it six.

The Bermudan, released by Carlisle last season, was doing his own chances no harm up front.

When Silsden did briefly threaten, Oliver was alive to the danger and stretched out a long leg to see off any threat.

Kerr enjoyed his moment of fame as he turned in City’s seventh before Kes delivered a text-book tackle in the other box.

Wells and Threlfall threatened even more goals but any embarrassment felt by Silsden was covered by the cash that came rolling in from a bumper 1,125 crowd.

“Can you all please come again next week!” pleaded the voice on the tannoy.

Jonny Brain had been a spectator for most of the night in City’s goal with only one save from a header straight at him. And the former Macclesfield stopper had no chance with Jim Bradley’s late consolation.

City will move on to much stronger pre-season tests but, given the misery of the past 12 months, their new era enjoyed an encouraging opening night. For some in their ranks, though, it could also herald the final curtain.

Jackson said: “Silsden were very accommodating to us and there were some good performances and good fitness. I mixed the team up and full credit to the senior players, Threlfall, Oliver and Flynn, who showed a fantastic attitude to play alongside the trialists and kids we’ve got at the club. But you can see that is the future of Bradford City, bringing these young players on.”

On new signing Jones, he added: “He’s an experienced player and we’ve got him at the right time. It was an area that I needed to fill.”

CITY: Brain, Burns (Kes 46), Robinson, Oliver, Threlfall, Osborne, Flynn (Lacey 46), Brown (Dean 46), Green (Kerr 46), Wells (Rowe 75), Rodney (Stephenson 46).