TO say that new Bradford City goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell is eager to pen a new chapter in his footballing career is probably an understatement.
The Sheffield-born custodian did it tough last season on the back of a relegation to League Two with Northampton Town and a fraught first half of the campaign at Rotherham United, where he was on the periphery.
It followed a difficult time towards the end of his spell at Bristol City, whom he left to join the Millers in early 2017.
O’Donnell, 29, who started his career at Sheffield Wednesday, hopes to have now found sanctuary at City after signing for a club who he is almost joined in 2015.
The goalkeeper, who has agreed a two-year-deal after exercising a relegation-release clause at Northampton, said: “It is a fresh start and opportunity and I am looking forward to getting going.
“Last season was tough. I am someone who enjoys playing football week in, week out and to find myself in a situation where the manager tells me I am not in his plans, I am not the type of guy who wants to sit around and just pick up a wage.
“The clubs I left recently were because I have wanted to play football. Northampton was a little bit different with the situation with relegation.
“I was disappointed about what happened. It was a club who should not have been in that position.
“But everyone at the club was fantastic with me. It was not as easy as just saying: ‘I want to leave.’ I left with a heavy heart.
“But it is nice to be back in Yorkshire. It is a massive club and one I have been wanting to play at for a few years and I am delighted I have finally got the chance to come and play here.
“There were other options where I could have been financially better off, but I feel I am at an age where I just want to play.
“In my eyes, this club deserves to be playing in a higher league.”
Valley Parade holds some pleasurable memories for O’Donnell, who made his debut there for the Cobblers in their 2-1 league win in January and he is hopeful of plenty more positive ones in the season ahead.
He added: “It was a good memory and I quite enjoyed that one. But I have always enjoyed playing here and when you walk out at Valley Parade, you get that buzz as there are so many people there and it does not feel like a League One match.
“Whether you are with the home or away team, it is a terrific place to play.”
Midfielder Timothee Dieng has joined Southend United on a two-year deal after rejecting fresh terms at City.