Bradford City out of contract players stands at 14. Several big names could depart Valley Parade in the summer.
A woeful season means that the Bantams will be spending a third season in the bottom tier of the English Football League. Now, Bradford City will need to decide who deserves a contract.
Bradford City Out of Contract Players Stands at 14
The Bantams Are at Risk of Losing Some of Their Best Players if Contract Talks Breakdown
Some of the players nearing the end of their contracts are longstanding Bradford players. Names such as Anthony O’Connor, Harry Pritchard, and Connor Wood are regular starters on the teamsheet. However, these players are also part of the decline of Bradford City, many fans are keen to start afresh.
Anthony O’Connor, a former captain of the side, cuts a controversial figure with fans. The defender is especially useful in his ability to play in multiple positions. He is also a vastly experienced professional. Although, he was a focal point of derision when Bradford were in free fall. Horrendous defensive displays and the doffing of the captains armband mid-game burnt bridges with Bantams fans.
Harry Pritchard is a player that struggles with injuries, making just 16 league appearances for the Bantams this season. Connor Wood is one player with potential, but his game is suffering somewhat. Usually, a solid left-back that can bomb forward, Wood is suffering from the Bradford curse. However, he remains a player that most fans will want to keep.
Lee Novak, Billy Clarke, and Clayton Donaldson are three senior players that gave a lot this season. Donaldson, 37, is hunting for a new contract and with six goals to his name, he may prove useful as an option off the bench. Clarke is a player that is often fighting to prove his usefulness but is versatile and can offer a touch of quality. On the other hand, Novak is still a fine player for League Two standards and will certainly be a player most will want to see tied down for another year.
Bradford City Hidden Gems and Unlikely Lads Fighting for a Contract
Jorge Sikora, 19, Connor Shanks, 19, Kian Scales, 18, and Reece Staunton, 19, are all out of contract this June. Scales and Staunton in particular are held in very high regard at the club. Both are young prospects and are capable of League Two football. Offering them a contract with guaranteed game time may prove beneficial in the long term.
Bradford City’s academy is capable of producing players as saleable assets, which is imperative to the club’s financial health. And in the short term, Staunton and Scales are players that will supplement the first team and add that youthful exuberance.
Matty Foulds, 23, is a left-back that is rarely seen. Without much game time, it is difficult to make a case for Foulds to stay or go. Zeli Ismail, 27, is a player that seems to have all the promise but no substance. Ismail’s injury struggles are well known and since 2019 has managed just 12 games for Bradford City.
A New Manager May Change Everything
Bradford City are searching for their new manager and will need to review this situation when the appointment is made. The club relieved management duo Mark Trueman and Connor Sellars of their duties and will not be taking applicants. For this reason, it is expected that a new manager is already lined up.