Bantams chairman aims to reward fans

JOINT chairman Julian Rhodes has revealed his delight for Bradford City’s long-suffering fans over the club’s upturn in fortunes during 2012.

The Bantams have enjoyed a year to remember after beating Premier League duo Arsenal and Wigan Athletic to reach the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

City are also through to the Northern Area semi-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and firmly in the hunt for automatic promotion from League Two.

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As Rhodes is the first to admit, this contrasts sharply with a year ago when the biggest hope fans had going into 2012 was that their club would stay in the Football League.

The City chief said: “Considering where we have been and what has happened over the past 10 or so years, the fans have been magnificent to stick by us.

“They never fail to surprise me in terms of how they support the club so it has been especially pleasing to give them something to smile about in the second half of 2012. If anyone deserved nights like when we beat Wigan and Arsenal, it is our fans and now we just hope we can given them what we all want to see in 2013 – a place in the top three and automatic promotion. That would be fantastic for the entire city.”

Bradford host Rochdale today with manager Phil Parkinson keeping a watching brief on a virus that has swept through the Valley Parade dressing room over the past week.

He said: “We have tried to manage things with some of the lads staying away from training. The lads who live in the same house have also been put in hotels to keep the bug from spreading but we will have to see how successful this has been.”