Alex Gilliead was talking up the strength of Bradford City’s squad in an interview with the Telegraph and Argus after their pre-season friendly on Tuesday, with the versatile midfielder, who is set for his third spell with the Bantams, clearly enthused by Derek Adams’ early transfer business.
The former Newcastle United youngster told the site: “Having that strength in depth is massive. You see how often we play Saturdays and Tuesdays in League Two.
“Having two players for every position can’t do you any harm and I think the lads showed we’ve got a lot of quality in the squad. We’ve got a few young lads coming on who’ve obviously showed they can step up as well. They are all senior players.”
After a tough 22nd placed finish in League Two, largely behind closed doors, with Scunthorpe United last season, Gilliead expressed his happiness at the return of fans to stadiums following City’s 5-0 win over Bradford Park Avenue.
Gilliead added: “It’s good be back playing and I’m more than happy to be back in front of the fans. It makes such a big difference, The fans needed to come back as soon as possible.
“Even when you’re walking out, hearing them clapping and cheering gives you that lift. It just feels right.”
It will be a different kind of pressure on Gilliead’s shoulders this season, he was one of the driving forces in pulling Scunthorpe away from the relegation conversation last term. Moving to a club the size of Bradford comes with its own expectations and with their progressive dealings in the market so far this summer, anything but a promotion push may cause some frustration from the stands.
The early signs are very encouraging for Bradford fans, after a few years of instability it would seem the Bantams are finally heading back in the right direction. Securing Derek Adams’ signature, after he incredibly achieved promotion to League One with Morecambe in 2020/21, was a statement of intent and the squad he is assembling should see them in and around the play-off places as a minimum expectation next term.
Gilliead is one of eight additions so far, all approaching the peak years of their career. There is bags of League Two experience in their ranks that should smoothen the introduction of the younger players he speaks of. Plenty of reasons for optimism about the 2013 League Cup finalists.