League Two side Bradford City beat off League One interest to sign ex-Hull City, Rotherham United and Middlesbrough FC midfielder Richie Smallwood

BRADFORD CITY have beaten off League One competition to sign former Hull City, Rotherham United and Middlesbrough midfielder Richie Smallwood on an initial two-year deal.

The former Hull captain, who left East Yorkshire at the end of last season, made 42 appearances for the club in 2021-22, having also been a regular during the Tigers' League One title-winning campaign of the previous year.

The 31-year-old Teessider, who started his career at Boro, was also promoted to the Championship with Rotherham in 2014 and Blackburn in 2018 - and is now chasing the fourth promotion from the lower-leagues in his career.

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Smallwood had attracted interest from several clubs including League One outfit Peterborough United - managed by ex-Hull chief Grant McCann - in the close season, but the combative midfielder has now agreed to sign for the Bantams.

New Bradford City signing Richie Smallwood. Picture courtesy of Bradford City AFC.

He has become the club's 11th signing of the summer.

Nicknamed 'The Dormanstown Destroyer' from his days at Boro, Smallwood is contracted with the club until at least the summer of 2024, with the option of a further season.

Smallwood said: "I am absolutely buzzing to finally have it signed and am looking forward to getting down to business.

"I have friends who have played here over the past few years who cannot speak highly enough of the club. Our job is to get it back to where it belongs, which is certainly not in League Two.

"I look to bring leadership and think the way the manager (Mark Hughes) wants to play will suit me well. The project he sold to me was very attractive and I was very impressed by the ideas he has.

"I have played here many times as an opponent and know the atmosphere is a ferocious one which we have to use to our advantage.

"I take huge responsibility to help us be successful, coming from playing in the Championship last season. It is going to be a tough campaign, but one I am looking forward to hopefully delivering for the team in."

City manager Mark Hughes added: “Richie is a player we have been chasing for a while now, so his signing is one we are naturally over the moon with.

"In him, we are getting a fantastic professional and a real leader who has seen and achieved an awful lot in the game.

"As a footballer, he has the ability to control games from midfield, and is someone who will give you nothing less than 100% every time he steps onto the grass.

"With 42 games in the Championship as Hull City captain last season, Richie comes fresh off bags of games higher up in the football pyramid, and is now ready and raring to go here at Bradford City."