The Trust’s perspectives for the 2019/20 season
By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Aug 2 2019 04:10PM
Are you ready for another season of watching Bradford City, now in League Two? Let’s brace ourselves for another rollercoaster ride!
We are not getting too giddy with optimism for a quick return to League One despite being the bookies favourite. No, our feet are firmly on the ground. It has to be said however there is much cause for optimism; Gary Bowyer has made some astute signings, 10 in all. Two of them have been talked about among fans; Bradford Born, Clayton Donaldson, from Bolton Wanderers (valued at £315k), and Ben Richards-Everton from Accrington Stanley (valued at £135k), and both were free transfers, in fact 6 out of the 10 were free transfers. Indeed, Matt Palmer is on loan until the end of the season from Rotherham, and Taylor French and Jackson Longbridge, from AFC Sudbury and Dunfirmline Athletic respectively, had signed for undisclosed fees, and Adam Henley has experience playing in the US. Another factor for optimism is that Gary Bowyer and the Club have been keen for the players to be introduced to what it means to play for the Bantams and the Club have introduced ‘heritage’ numbers on kits below the crest to signify the number of players as they had come to play from the Clubs’ first season in 1903. This is something borrowed from cricket and rugby and we are the first football club to introduce it in the professional game. After the previous seasons disappointment there will be a high expectation of players playing for the shirt, and with much more settled football club, commitment and consistency will be key to Bradford City’s success on the pitch this season.
There are quite a few fixtures which are re-acquaintances: Grimsby, Oldham, Cambridge and Newport County - remembered by older City fans, spring to mind, and then there’ll be some new grounds we’ve not come across; Forrest Green and Salford City being the only two. Remember our seasons in League Two, we spent 6 difficult years there, so we know from experience how difficult it can be. If we do go up, great! But if we have a reasonably good season and finish in a top table consolidation position that will be promising too. The main feature we want to see is a big collective effort from the team.
It has to be said that we were disappointed with Glenn Ackroyd stepping down from his volunteering roles within the club, including fan engagement. He was certainly one of the most progressive of Club representatives we have worked with. He was all for ‘structured dialogue’, he was passionate about it and many of the ideas that flow from it such as having a designated Supporters Liaison Officer. This role is for someone who is able to act as a bridge between Club and fans and works with other fans groups, is active in contacting fans groups supporting opposing teams ahead of match day and facilitating arrangements on the match day itself. He was passionate about establishing a ‘fanzone’ area at VP and keen for the Supporters Board to develop. But that said, the Supporters’ Board will continue and we will continue to develop a positive relationship with Julian Rhodes, putting forward supporter-based initiatives that can have a positive effect all round.
We already hit the ground running with this last season; we had a good intervention in the Kick It Out event on Good Friday at home to Gillingham with a leaflet, and I thank the lads and lasses from Bradford City Disability Supporters for helping to distribute the leaflets with me.
We also have a working partnership with Bradford Central and Bradford Metropolitan Foodbanks, and we have set up a ‘Go-Fund-Me’ page which is here. We may also organise a foodbank event at one of the home fixtures, hopefully with the backing of the Club. The Gills Supporters Trust has already donated £60 to the Just Giving page.
We also want to work with Supporters clubs, including those that put on coaches, not just from a Supporters Board perspective but so that we can introduce a fun element to the Trust, and with the support of said groups we can work together in putting on events and community initiatives, charity work and so on.
New Board Members for the Trust
As ever, we are always in need of new members of the Trust Board – it is the leadership of our Supporters Trust as a democratic organisation. We would like to reach out further and have a visible presence at Valley Parade on match days, put on more social events and so on, but to do this we need new people to get involved.
If you have experience of things like, community activism, running a football team, meeting people, organizing events, writing, putting in funding applications. If you have some time to give a little back then we would love to hear from you.
Please contact us here, or email us at email@example.com if you would like to be a Board Member, want to discuss ideas, and find out more in general about us.