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Dean Saunders
"Last year was fantastic although it was difficult"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Saunders parts with Bradford
Bradford's Dean Saunders and Sunderland's Jody Craddock
Dean Saunders struggled to win a regular place
Dean Saunders has departed relegated Bradford City with a parting shot at manager Jim Jefferies.

The 75-times capped Wales striker, who recently announced his retirement from international football, believes he was never given a fair chance by Jefferies.

The hard-nosed Scot has also dispensed with the services of Billy McKinlay and Ian Nolan, although Bradford have offered new contracts to Stuart McCall, Robert Molenaar and Eoin Jess.

After helping Bradford avoid relegation last year, Saunders was kept out of the first four months of this season after damaging his knee in an InterToto Cup match.

"The first game back I had, Chris Hutchings (Jefferies' predecessor) got sacked," Saunders said.

Jim Jefferies
Bradford manager Jim Jefferies
"The new manager has come in and, to be honest, not really treated me that well - I never got the chance after that to play.

"I made my mind up I was leaving around about January."

Having retired from the international arena to help prolong his club career, Saunders also has one eye on a future in football management.

"It's an important step for me now. I've got a few irons in the fire and I've got to move on.

"I'm getting offered various different things from player-coaching to player-manager in some cases.

"It's difficult to make the right decision because when you stop playing there's no going back."

Dean Saunders playing career


Bradford Aug 1999 - Free
Benfica Dec 1998 - 500,000
Sheff Utd Dec 1997 - Free
Nottm Forest July 1996 - 1,500,000
Galatasaray July 1995 - 2,350,000
Aston Villa Sep 1992 - 2,300,000
Liverpool July 1991 - 2,900,000
Derby Oct 1988 - 1,000,000
Oxford Mar 1987 - 60,000
Brighton Aug 1985 - Free
Cardiff Mar 1985 - Loan
Swansea June 1982 - Apprentice

See also:

16 May 01 |  Eng Prem
Bradford brawlers avoid FA wrath
22 May 01 |  Wales
Page on transfer list
22 May 01 |  World Cup 2002
Olisadebe threat to Wales
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