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Friday, December 1, 2023

Bradford City up to six summer singings as Gilliead returns

Alex Gilliead joins Liam Ridehalgh as new arrivals at the club

Bradford City AFC have confirmed the singing of Alex Gilliead yesterday on a two year deal.

Will it be third time lucky for Alex Gilliead?

Attacker Gilliead joins last Wednesday’s signing of defender Liam Ridehalgh, as City’s fifth and sixth signings of the summer.

Gilliead returns for a third spell at the Utilita Energy Stadium, having previously been at the club on two loan spells from Newcastle United.

He joins after his contract at Scunthorpe United expired, where he wore the captains armband on occasion and scooped six prizes at Scunthorpe’s 2020/21 player of the year awards.

He has also spent time at Shrewsbury before joining Scunthorpe, as well as loan spells at Carlisle and Luton, whilst at Newcastle.

Ridehalgh joins from Tranmere Rovers, where he spent 8 years.

In his time at Tranmere he enjoyed two promotion campaigns.

Halifax-born Ridehalgh graduated from the Huddersfield Town academy in 2010, before loan spells at Rotherham United, Swindon Town and Chesterfield.

Gilliead said: “I am over the moon to be back here. I have spoken to the manager and the rest of the staff, and it is an exciting project which is being built.

“I have been here when we have been doing well, and when we have not really been doing so well, but this is a great club and I am looking forward to getting going again.

“The manager is a proven one at this level, having achieved what he has over the past few years, and what he had to say over the phone to me was very encouraging and exciting.

“I feel like I have grown up a lot as a player and as a person since my last spell here. I have a lot of different attributes now, and want to show that to the supporters.”

New signing Ridehalgh arrives at the Utilita Energy Stadium

Ridehalgh said: “I am really glad to have got the deal done. I cannot wait to get going and am really looking forward to the season ahead.

“Bradford City is a massive football club. I am local to the area and know exactly what both the supporters and manager require.

“I played against a Derek Adams team in the play-offs last season. His sides are hard working and strong mentally, so I know what is expected.

“We are in League Two at the moment, but I know our aim is to go further than this division.

“It is clearly an ambitious football club. The new manager has come in and has past experience of getting promoted from this league. There are a few players in the camp who have been there and done it as well.

“I think this is a Championship club, so hopefully this year we can be right up there in the league.”

Manager Derek Adams has six new recruits so far

On the two Bantams boss Derek Adams said:

Alex Gilliead: 

“We are delighted to be welcoming Alex back to Valley Parade, and I am sure the Bradford City supporters cannot wait to see him in claret and amber again.

“He is a talented player with the ability to change games and unlock doors, which will be crucial for us in our pursuit of winning matches next season and beyond.

“Having watched him closely at Scunthorpe for the past couple of years, I am well aware of what he will add to the group. On top of bags of ability, Alex also has a great personality and leadership traits, which are always what we look for in players.

“He is no stranger to our supporters, who I am sure join me in looking forward to watching him in action here – over the next two years and beyond.”

Liam Ridehalgh: 

“We are delighted to be welcoming Liam on board as our fifth new recruit of the summer.

“When I first arrived at the club, he was one of the very first names on our list, so to have got the deal completed ahead of pre-season is hugely encouraging.

“He is a well-cultured player with plenty of quality and experience at left-back, having played close to 400 games in his career.

“Liam is from around the area and lives locally, so is well aware of what this football club means and what is required to represent it.

“We welcome him to Bradford City, and are looking forward to seeing him in action when we begin pre-season training next week.”

Both signings are subject to relevant EFL and FA clearances.

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