JUST 78 days after signing off his time with AFC Sudbury in front of just 168 spectators, new Bradford City signing Tyler French found himself lining up against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
The 20-year-old boyhood Reds fan admits the experience was a surreal one. Nevertheless, French performed well and is now hoping the sold-out clash with the Anfield giants can be the launchpad for a big season in his fledgling career. “I am a Liverpool supporter so I watched every single game they played in the Champions League,” he said. “(Divock) Origi scored in the final and now I am lining up against him.
“It is taking a while for that to process in my head. The experience is incredible and you can take so much from this.
“Playing in a game this big gives me confidence. Hearing people cheer when you do something gives you a terrific boost.”
French was one of 11 changes made by manager Gary Bowyer during the interval of Sunday’s 3-1 defeat. He performed admirably, suggesting City made a wise move when bringing the versatile defender in from Bostik League North outfit Sudbury.
“When you get the ball, Liverpool are like a pack of bees,” said French, whose last outing before moving to Bradford came in a 1-0 win over Coggeshall Town on April 27 that sealed eighth place for Sudbury.
“They swarm straight on you. But we stuck to our game plan and I thought we did well. There was good communication and it paid off. We won the second half 1-0 with a clean sheet!”
As for the challenge of becoming a full-time footballer after spending last season four levels below League Two, French added: “I have had past experience when I have been on trial and done little bits.
“But this is my first proper pre-season and I have probably done more in a couple of weeks than I ever have in my career.
“I feel so much better for it. Normally, I am not a morning person but now I can’t wait to get up and go training, and do what I love.
“When you start playing the games, you ease into it and people get a feel of what you’re like. The settling-in period becomes a lot easier and it makes you feel part of the club.
“It is getting closer to the start now and every pre-season game is important. Next week against Wigan will be another tough one but, hopefully, will go as well.”