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Olympics2000

Sunday, 13 August, 2000, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
Bantams aim to fly high
Fans hope Benito Carbone will be a goal hero
Fans hope Benito Carbone will be a goal hero
Bradford City 2000/2001 preview

After last season's nail-biting climax the target for this season is still Premiership survival - but this time the Bantams aim to survive in style.

Bradford have made changes to the playing personnel to reflect the club's desire to remain among the big boys for as long as possible.

More than a few eyebrows were raised by the stature of the club's new players.

This is especially true of Benito Carbone and Dan Petrescu as both players are renowned for their skill rather than the battling qualities more often associated with Bradford City.

  Transfers in:
Ian Nolan (Sheff Wed), free
Peter Atherton (Sheff Wed), free
David Hopkin (Leeds), 2.5m
Dan Petrescu (Chelsea), 800,000
Benito Carbone (Aston Villa), free

The diminutive Italian Carbone has proven he can score and create goals in the Premiership.

His reputation remains a little tainted due to his acrimonious exits from Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa.

But for most of his time there it was his effort and commitment to the cause, plus moments of sublime skill, that raised his profile.

Dimension

At 28, he is certainly no has-been.

Petrescu's deft touches and tireless running should add an extra dimension to the right hand side.

In midfield the signing of David Hopkin could prove significant for Bradford as he has the priceless knack of scoring crucial goals.

The experienced Ian Nolan and Peter Atherton have been bought in to help shore up the defence.

  Transfers out:
John Dreyer (Cambridge), free
Andy Patterson (released)
Stephen Wright (released)
Neville Southall (released)

The existing playing staff at Valley Parade have already displayed their survival instinct, it is now time for them to show they can play too.

There have also been plenty of changes off the field, with manager Paul Jewell leaving the club and his assistant Chris Hutchings taking over the reins.

The right hand man of Hutchings will be the inspirational Stuart McCall who takes up the position of player/assistant manager.

"I made it clear to the players that I didn't want to be seen as being on one side of the fence or the other." said McCall.

"I told the lads that I was still approachable and that they could call me all the names under the sun, like they have done in the past."

A tough season lies ahead for Bradford, but if the new players can settle without disrupting the team spirit, Valley parade could well be celebrating again come May.

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See also:

02 Aug 00 |  Bradford City
Bantams Euro dream over
09 Aug 00 |  Bradford City
Carbone promises to stay
09 Aug 00 |  Bradford City
Former Owls embrace Carbone
09 Aug 00 |  Football
Benito's indecision is final
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