BRADFORD (Park Avenue) have returned to pre-season training ahead of their 10th consecutive season in the Vanarama National League North, with new faces brimming in the squad.

One of which is former Hull City and York City youngster Rob Guilfoyle, who joined Avenue on a one-year deal after opting to depart the Minstermen due to a lack of first team opportunities.

Guilfoyle began his career at York but spent two seasons in the academy at Hull, where he managed 50 goals in two seasons for the Tigers before returning to York.

The 18-year old scored one goal in three appearances last season, which came against Mark Bower’s side, and thanked the club’s recently deceased secretary Colin Barker for playing a role in completing his switch to Avenue.

The teenager said: “At York, I wasn’t really going to be playing much next season and was available, so I came in and did a couple of training sessions and Colin, who has now sadly passed, was outstanding in sorting out my contract.

“He was straight on it when sorting out the deal, sending across emails and stuff and got the contract sorted as quickly as possible.

“Mark (Bower), Bosh (Danny Boshell) and Martin (Knight) told me that I was going to play, and that’s the main thing now in just getting as many minutes as possible.”

Guilfoyle is Bower’s first new acquisition of the season, and the boss has been helping the youngster settle into his new home.

He said: “The way Mark has been with me ever since I signed has been class, we’ve been speaking on Whatsapp and he called me a few times just to see how I am getting on.

“He’s one of those managers who is so easy to approach, it’s not like you feel awkward going over to speak to him.

“He’s the most approachable guy and so is Bosh as well. I think my relationship with Mark is really good at the minute and I hope it’ll stay that way.”

The management team aren’t the only people that Guilfoyle has been able to meet so far, with pre-seasons starting up at the end of last month.

The 18-year old expressed how excited he was to be involved in the squad, saying: “We started back up a few days ago, and there’s a few trialists in, but the way they have welcomed me has been brilliant.

“As soon as I came in, everyone was asking how I was getting on and how the move came about, and they even said they felt like I’d be a great addition to the squad.

“The team were saying that they needed a player like me, which is really good to hear from the lads, especially as I’ve never met them before other than when I’ve played against them, so it’s been a good start really.”

Bower’s new man was recently on trial with Sky Bet League One side Wycombe Wanderers, but the opportunity of first team football and his versatility was a large reason for his decision to join Bradford.

He said: “I can play anywhere in a front four, so a ten, on the wing or up front. Probably for this season I’ll be more of a left winger or a number ten, but I’d just describe myself as hard-working, direct, very quick, skilful and as a really good finisher.

“Depending on where I am playing, I think getting my numbers up for both goals and assists is the main aim. Combined, I want to reach 15 goals and assists for the season.”

And there is no danger of Guilfoyle not giving it his all, as he said: “I’m football mad.

“As soon as I get home, I’m watching football, that really is what my life and my whole family is like. I like going to the gym and working on my fitness and stuff, but it is mostly just football training, work, and then watching football on TV.”