A good afternoon’s work for Bradford City, as Jones and Oliver sign

By Jason McKeown

In what was clearly a productive day at Valley Parade, Gary Jones has signed for Bradford City on a one-year deal from Rochdale and player of the season Luke Oliver has agreed a two-year contract to remain at the club.

Jones, 35, has had two spells as player at Spotland and made just short of 500 appearances for Dale. He famously turned down a move to City and Peter Jackson last season, despite the Bantams offering him a substantial wage. His one-year contract would suggest – and it’s just a suggestion – that he will be on decent money at Valley Parade too. Though his age will also be a factor in offering him a short deal. Jones will replace David Syers (and, fearing more hate mail after last week, I’ll just quietly pose the question of whether City would have been better offering the younger Syers the kind of wage Jones might have just signed for, and put my tin helmet back on).

Oliver’s future was in doubt at City following the signing of Rory McArdle, and is set to start next season as third choice centre half. But then again, he was in a worse position than that this time a year ago and came back very strongly. Anyone looking to write Oliver off right now would know nothing of his history at this club.

We will have more in-depth analysis of these developments over the weekend (when we can be bothered to get out of our bed; hey, it’s our day off).

Categories: News

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8 replies

  1. According to Syers his decision to leave was nothing to do with money

  2. When is the Archie Christie interview please? Looking forward to reading it.

    • Hi John

      Archie recently suffered a family bereavement so I’m not sure when we will do it. Might be a bit yet.

  3. Again its difficult to suggest City should have offered Syers what Jones has been offered when we dont know anything about the money involved for either player. A very good signing in my opinion and I wonder if he’s here to replace Flynn rather than Syers. Experience, leadership and goals and he can only enhance the dressing room on match day.
    Oliver was excellent next season and at the moment I wonder if we are setting up with 3 centre halves and 3 in the central midfield position? That would accomodate Jones Jones and Ravenhill and Oliver Davies and McArdle.
    Well done City, keep it up

  4. Hey Up Jason

    Get your tin hat on! Just kidding I havent been boozing, two points.

    1. We have no idea what Syers was offered.
    2, Syers said in the T & A interview that he was goning to sign for city until Donny and Cov came in.

    Lets see how Jones gets on next season.



    • I think what Jason’s trying to say is had we originally offered Syers the deal he is probably worth back in January then we could have fended these predators from the division above off and at the very least received a fee for an obviously highly talented player. We don’t know what he was offered but he obviously wasn’t happy with the deal in January or he would have signed then and as Jason rightly points out in 2-3 years Syers will be in his prime where as Jones will be 37-38 and not the player to be looking at trying to get a side into the Championship.

      I commend the board and Parky on a fantastic signing for next season but once again if I may slightly criticise it does have a feel that we are once again possibly guilty of short term thinking. Promotion or bust this year then what happens next year?

      Had we kept Syers and failed to get promotion he would either be a more experienced better player to lead us the season after or would be moving on for a fee that we could use to put into the kitty. However, on the positive side a fantastic experienced player has signed to what looks like an ever improving squad and hopefully we will get the promotion we are looking for and none of this will matter!

      • Totally agree ,short term thinking and a shit or bust attitude.
        We never learn at bradford.
        If this dont work out, we may be left in a mess, new team needed again, slash the wage bill, etc.

  5. We obviously don’t know the facts of Syers moving on but I suspect from his interview in the t&a he wanted to make up for a late start in the professional game and play at a higher level, and we can’t blame him for that. Money wasn’t the issue from my interpretation.

    What we have in his place is a proven player in Gary Jones which gives us the best chance of promotion back to league one where in future we may be able to retain players of Syers quality in the future.

    Good signing under the circumstances and let’s hope there’s more of the same ready for the new season.

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