Bradford City’s trip to AFC Wimbledon was called off at lunchtime today following a pitch inspection. The playing surface was frozen in places, while more cold weather is expected overnight which wouldn’t have helped the situation.
A second successive postponement is unwelcome given the pile up of midweek fixtures which is building as a result – an issue added to by City’s trip to Barnet at the start of January being rearranged for the end of this month because of the Bantams’ FA Cup commitments. With the Wimbledon fixture still to fit in; starting on Tuesday, the Bantams face 14 games over the next eight weeks.
Temperatures are forecast to begin rising after Saturday, which means City’s Tuesday night home game with Port Vale should go ahead as planned.
Earlier in the day, the Bantams confirmed the signing of defender Matt Fry until the end of the season. The 21-year-old was released by West Ham in January after failing to make a single appearance for the Hammers. Fry has however had two loan spells at Charlton working with Phil Parkinson, in addition to playing nine times for Gillingham. Fry has been training with City for the last few weeks, and has been awarded Luke O’Brien’s number 3 shirt. He can play left back or central defence.
Speaking to the club’s website, Parkinson said of Fry:
“I’ve said in the press many times before that it looks like we are going to have backlog of fixtures coming up…and I want to make sure we are covered in all positions for those games.”
Elsewhere, rumours have circulated today that young midfielder Scott Brown has been told by Parkinson to find another club. Although Brown himself has quickly denied this – stating on Twitter: “These rumours ive heard are absolute rubbish not true at all. Wonder who makes these up … ” – it hasn’t stopped another round of criticism for the Development Squad initiative, which increasingly looks to have been completely abandoned.
As someone who saw Brown in action in a pre-season friendly at Silsden and in a Development Squad match at Steeton – both last August – I can only re-iterate my excitement about his potential. Brown has received a lot of hype, but has great ability on the ball and can pick a pass out. Watch him and you wouldn’t know he was so young.
Brown was 45 minutes away from making his a debut, against Wimbledon, earlier this season. Parkinson now has a lot of central midfield options to choose from, but I strongly believe that Brown is worth sticking with and will hopefully push for a first team place next season.