How Phil Parkinson's men are shaping up for next season
The 2013-14 season was the Bantams' first back in League One following their promotion via the play-offs the previous campaign.
Many tipped Phil Parkinson's men for another top six push but ultimately that goal proved too much for the Yorkshire side. By October 2013 they had already won six league games – including impressive victories against Sheffield United and Brentford - mainly down to the impressive form of their star striker Nakhi Wells, who, by the time he departed the club for Huddersfield Town in January, had hit 15 goals.
His £1m transfer to the local rivals hampered Bradford's chances to make an assault on the promotion places but they consolidated following some tinkering in the transfer market by Parkinson, who replaced Wells with Aaron McLean.
Failing to win a match in December and January left many City fans worried that they would be involved with a relegation battle but they survived comfortably and will aim to improve on their 12th place finish in 2014-15.
THE MANAGER – PHIL PARKINSON
Parkinson began his managerial career at Colchester United in 2003 and helped the U's to promotion to the Championship following a second placed finish in League One in 2006. Parkinson has been Bradford manager since taking over from Peter Jackson in August 2011. He masterminded City's rise back to League One two seasons ago and secured the Bantams' place in the division in 2013-14. He has previously had a short spell as Hull City boss in 2006 and then enjoyed three years at Charlton Athletic between 2008 and 2011. He also took Bradford to the League Cup Final in 2013.
During his playing days, the 46-year-old graduated through the famous Southampton youth system but failed to make an appearance for the Saints during three years as a professional. He moved north to play for Bury, representing the Shakers on over 100 occasions but it was at Reading where he gained legendary status. In 11 seasons he appeared over 300 times and was twice voted the Royals' Player of the Year. He also helped the club to the Championship and is in Reading's all time best XI.
SUMMER BUSINESS SO FAR
Parkinson has quickly tied defender Rory McArdle down to a new contract for another three seasons. Middlesbrough midfielder Matthew Dolan has also agreed to turn his loan spell into a permanent one by agreeing a one-year deal with the option of another year. Captain Gary Jones has been allowed to leave following the expiry of his contract whilst Garry Thompson – who scored the winning goal for Bradford in our game at Valley Parade last season – has also departed the club. Former Middlesbrough man Matthew Bates has also left Valley Parade.
Last season Crawley came out on top in the game at the Checkatrade.com Stadium with Emile Sinclair scoring his first goal for the club following his transfer from Peterborough United. Sinclair struck midway through the second half to earn the points for the Reds.
Away from home, the final trip of the 2013-14 season saw Crawley make the long journey to Yorkshire. After Jamie Proctor's second half lob cancelled out an Aaron McLean strike, Garry Thompson flicked his header past Paul Jones with only a few seconds left.
Crawley did the double over the Bantams in 2011-12 in League Two. The home match saw second half goals from Andy Drury and a brace from Tyrone Barnett help Crawley clinch a 3-1 victory after Kyel Reid's 12th minute opener for City.
The infamous match at Valley Parade finished in a brawl after a 2-1 Crawley victory. On loan Leon Clarke opened the scoring for Crawley but Chris Dagnall headed past Michel Kuipers to even the scores. Late into the second half, Scott Davies' cross found the head of Gary Alexander at the back post who planted his effort past Jon McLoughlin and into the back of the net.
VISITING THE GROUND?
Bradford City have played at Valley Parade since 1903. The stadium has played host to Premier League football and is one of the biggest in League One. Reds fans will be housed in a section of the Betrescue (Midland Road) Stand.
THEY PLAYED FOR BOTH
Ex-Crawley loanee Kyle Bennett had a similar spell with Bradford at the end of last season but struggled for game time. The winger appeared four times for Crawley but failed to finish on the winning side during his time with us.
Other former Reds players to have played for Bradford include Danny Forrest and Jake Wright who joined Crawley back in 2008 from Halifax Town.
WHAT THE BOOKIES THINK
Bradford are 18-1 with Sky Bet to win promotion from League One in 2014-15.