Bradford v Gillingham: Bantams eyeing first victory as Brad Jones makes his arrival

Goalkeeper Brad Jones.Goalkeeper Brad Jones.
Goalkeeper Brad Jones.
PHIL PARKINSON has revealed how Bradford City had to be patient in their attempts to sign Brad Jones.

The former Liverpool and Middlesbrough goalkeeper yesterday signed a one-year deal at Valley Parade.

Jones, 33, is in the squad to face Gillingham tonight but Ben Williams will start due to the Australian having only been back in training for a week.

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Parkinson said: “We are very pleased to get this signing done. Sometimes, patience pays off and it has in this case.

“Of all the goalkeepers that have been out there this summer, we have got one of the very best. It is a big thing for us.

”I spoke to Brad’s agent early in the summer.

“We had a chat and I sounded him out.

“It was clear we’d have to be patient, which we have been.

“Then, over the last few days, we had another chat and we got a deal agreed.”

Jones spent nine years at Boro after moving to England in 2001 before moving to Anfield in a £2.3m move.

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Most of his time with the Reds was spent as back-up but Jones did make 25 appearances and was last season brought in for Simon Mignolet after the latter had lost form.

He was released in the summer.

Parkinson added: “Brad is a good age for a goalkeeper and he is also very ambitious, which fits in with the club.

“Ben has done great and had a good start to the season. But we needed more competition.

Joe Cracknell has been on the bench but he is a development goalkeeper who we will maybe loan out for experience elsewhere.

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“Now, we have competition and Ben appreciates how important that is.”

City go into tonight’s clash still searching for a first victory after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, a week on from the opening day second-half collapse that brought a 4-1 loss to Swindon Town.

Parkinson felt his side – roared on by a vociferous crowd of more than 18,000 – should have taken all three points off the visitors and is calling on his men to come out tonight and claim that elusive first victory.

He added: “The support we had from the stands was really great and we really should have won that game.

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“They hardly threatened our goal and we had enough chances to win it but just couldn’t get the three points.”

Last six games: Bradford City DWWLDD, Gillingham WLWWWD.

Referee: D Handley (Lancashire).

Last time: Bradford City 1 Gillingham 1; November 22, 2014; League One.