BRADFORD CITY manager Stuart McCall has revealed that finances ruled out a possible summer return for Jordy Hiwula on loan as last season’s top scorer tonight prepares to return to Valley Parade in the colours of Fleetwood Town.
The 23-year-old Huddersfield Town forward netted nine times as the Bantams reached the League One play-off final.
Bradford were able to afford Hiwula due to the Terriers paying a significant percentage of his wages for the entire 2016-17 campaign.
This time around, however, competition from elsewhere meant Huddersfield could stipulate that Hiwula’s salary had to be paid in full during any loan spell.
“Jordy did really well for us and he is a smashing kid,” said McCall about a striker who has netted three times in ten appearances in front of the Cod Army this term.
“I spoke to Huddersfield at the back end of last season, this was before the play-offs, and they were asking if we wanted to keep him longer.
“Huddersfield made us aware there were a couple of clubs in our division who were happily going to pay the full whack. Hence why we didn’t pursue Jordy.”
Fleetwood’s deeper pockets may have won the race to sign Hiwula but City have enjoyed a much better start than the side they defeated over two legs in the play-off semi-finals last May.
Bradford sit third in the table on 20 points, seven places and seven points above Uwe Rosler’s men. Tonight, though, McCall is fully aware of the danger posed by Hiwula.
“I have never had the chance to speak to Jordy since and thank him for what he did,” he added. “He was really good to work with and I think he improved with us.
“He got 12 goals for us and played a big part in helping us get to where we did. It would have been nice to be in for him again, but we couldn’t commit.
“But once we knew a couple of clubs had already committed to paying the full amount, we were looking elsewhere.”
Last six games: Bradford City WWWDWW Fleetwood Town LWDWLL.
Referee: G Salisbury (Lancashire).
Last time: Bradford City 1 Fleetwood Town 0; May 4, 2017; League One play-off semi-final.