Ritchie Jones leaves Bradford City

By Jason McKeown

Bradford City’s transfer deadline day activity has concluded with the not-all-together-surprising-but-still-very-sad-news that Ritchie Jones has departed the club after his contract was paid up.

The 26-year-old midfielder was signed by Peter Jackson/Archie Christie in the summer of 2011 after attempts to sign Tommy Miller and Gary Jones failed to come to fruition. He proved to be an important player last season, with his central midfield partnership with Ricky Ravenhill helping to ensure City retained their Football League status. But both have found their route to the first team blocked this season, due to the outstanding form of summer arrivals Nathan Doyle and Gary Jones. Ritchie’s chances were not helped by an injury in pre-season which kept him out until October.

Having looked as though he might be back in the first team around the turn of the year, a run of City league results didn’t aid Ritchie’s hopes of retaining his place. He made a mistake for the opening goal in the defeat to Barnet, which meant he was dropped for the Villa home leg. The next – and last – time that Ritchie started was the 4-1 JPT cup defeat to Crewe.

As a big fan of Jones, his performance that night was distressing to say the least. The level of determination which always characterised his displays was lacking. There was no passion or fight. It was like Ritchie had given up on his City career. On the evidence of his poor body language that night, a January departure looked inevitable. So it is.

He will have no problem finding a new club in League Two because he has a lot of talent. Ritchie’s contribution to Bradford City will probably not be remembered for long, but he played a telling contribution during some of our darkest times and deserves our appreciation for that.

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7 replies

  1. Very sad news Jason , Ritchie Jones had a great engine and could cover ground very quickly defensively and from attacking point of view.
    Tbh he was signed on a 4yr deal and we have seen most of the Jacko /christie signings leave the club.
    Kennedy was supposed to be his replacement but I hear that deal has now gone pear shaped ?
    So one out not one in so far:(

  2. There are some players who are conundrums, sometimes just for a while, other times permanently. Not so long ago, for example, I, like many, was confused about why Nahki Wells wasn’t being picked to play in every game – remember the choruses of hallelujah when he was brought on as a sub? – as he clearly had that class that we were missing. Likewise Claus Jorgensen couldn’t get in the starting line-up for what seemed like ages, when to many supporters he was an obvious first choice. For me, Richie Jones is another such player, in that he seemed to ooze class so far as I could tell, and seemed to have the potential to become a cornerstone of the team, but for some reason it just didn’t ever happen for him – and who really knows why, since we supporters will never know what goes on behind the scenes. I am really saddened to see him go, as I think he had loads to offer, and was, in my opinion, broadly of the same class as Gary Jones and Doyle. By some accounts his commitment had faded recently, which is perhaps understandable when he was clearly not in the manager’s longer term plans. But I will miss him, and believe he could have played, and continued to play, an important role.

  3. Ritchie is a good player but for what ever reason never had the bite to make a difference at this level. Good luck to Ritchie but the truth is he will be relatively easily replaced in the Summer.

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