By Jason McKeown
After giving up on the chase to sign Andy Gray, Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson has today signed Swindon striker Alan Connell to bolster the club’s attacking options.
Connell, 29, was signed by Town for around £115k last summer after an impressive season at Grimsby Town in the Conference. Although Swindon’s top scorer with 11 goals last season, curiously he only started 13 games with a further 19 appearances from the bench. Before Grimsby he had two spells at Bournemouth were similarly he came off the bench more often than he was in the starting XI.
Connell has left Swindon despite having a year to run on his contract, with the club agreeing a mutual termination. It suggests that – as good as Connell’s career record is (86 goals from 210 starts and 122 sub appearances) – he may not be the rounded player we might assume.
That is not to be overly negative of what looks to be a useful piece of business by Parkinson, but to suggest we should reserve judgement before rushing out to laud Connell. It is a signing that, in my opinion at least, is highly preferable to bringing in Gray; but suggestions he will take Hanson’s place in the team might be a little premature.
In fact, this signing may be the back up to Hanson and Nahki Wells, with Connell’s career suggesting he would make a good impact sub. Width of a Post disapproves of any hasty attempts to break up the highly effective Hanson/Wells partnership, and so we are quite encouraged by the potential route Parkinson has gone down in signing a super sub.
Connell will wear the number 17 shirt and is expected to join his new team mates on the trip to Ireland next week.