2015 – the best and worst moments…and our hopes for 2016

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Width of a Post writers share their best and worst memories of the past year, and look forward to more good times in 2016.

Tim Penfold

Best moment of 2015?

I’m going for the obvious answer here – Chelsea.  The best I’ve ever seen a City side perform.

Worst moment of 2015?

15 minutes into Reading away, where I had the sinking realisation that we weren’t going to Wembley and it was going to be a long journey home.

Hope for 2016?

In the league the play offs is a realistic aim – we just need to start creating more chances in games, which should sort out our goalscoring problem.  I’d quite like another good cup run as well.

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James Pieslak

Best moment of 2015?

Leyton Orient away, and James Hanson’s first goal in particular.

Away in East London on a chilly Wednesday evening just three days after beating Sunderland in the FA Cup. It had ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ written all over it. Instead City ran out 2-0 winners, playing with confidence and authority. A swagger in fact. Hanson’s goal – off the chest and bang from 18 yards – summed that up perfectly. It was a performance that suggested greater things for the season than were ultimately achieved.

Worst moment of 2015?

Reading away. We didn’t turn up and were soundly thumped.  It was a damp squib of a display played in front of the cameras and a manufactured atmosphere at the Madejski. Hated it.

Hopes for 2016?

A continuation of the feel-good factor around the club. Promotion would certainly help with that…That, and the re-appearance of claret and amber stripes on our shirt.

Image by Alex Scott

Image by Alex Scott

Nikhil J Vekaria

Best moment of 2015?

Filipe Morais’ goal at Chelsea: This is a very ‘obvious’ game to choose from, but how could I choose anything else?! Some may argue that Halliday or Yeates were better moments and they certainly were sensational, but for me, Morais’ equaliser tops the lot.

I never expected us to win it and quite frankly I didn’t care – it was all about the occasion. The goal by Morais meant so much – we’d equalised at Stamford Bridge. It wins best moment of 2015 for me simply because at the moment the ball hit the back of the net, I couldn’t foresee anything better happening. To equalise and have that moment meant so much.

Worst moment of 2015?

I was very tempted to pick the Reading replay for this one, but resisted due to the fact we’d done so much to get there and it was just a bridge too far in what was an incredible cup run.

I’ve instead gone for Swindon away on the opening day. So much hope, so much optimism. A wonderfully taken goal to give us a 1-0 lead and then a golden chance from the spot, only for the penalty to be missed. To then lose 4-1 and capitulate the way we did, after so many months of waiting, was devastating.

Hope for 2016?

My one hope for 2016 is that we can become a bit less one dimensional. I love Phil Parkinson and I think we’ve got players who are easily capable of challenging for the play offs, but I’d love to see Parky making game impacting substitutes earlier on and us going away from our stereotypical long ball style, which the better teams in the league seem to have worked out and know how to defend against.

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Andrew Baxter

Best moment?

Unfortunately I was not there at Stamford Bridge on “that” day but the atmosphere at both the Sunderland and Reading home games was incredible. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my time supporting City. The performance against Sunderland, especially, will live long in the memory.

Worst moment?

Being knocked out of the FA Cup at Reading was a huge disappointment, but for me, the worst moment of 2015 was our 6-0 drubbing at home to Bristol City. It signalled the end of our push for the play offs in dramatic fashion, and in effect meant that we had nothing more to play for than pride during the last couple of games of the season.

Hope for 2016?

Hopefully we can mount a serious push for the play offs. We’re right in the mix at the minute, and with a good run of form (maybe even three consecutive wins?) we’ll be in a commanding position.

The only worry for me is our lack of goals. Having said that, if Clarke, Hanson or Cole can hit top form, I believe we have the strength and depth throughout the squad to be in the play offs at the end of the season.

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Mahesh Johal

Best moment of 2015?

There are two moments for me. Andy Halliday’s goal and the subsequent celebrations at Stamford Bridge will live with me forever.

The second has to be the FA Cup Quarter Final. Everything about the occasion got to me; The build up, the ticket debacle, the clash of colours (sad I know, but I thought Valley Parade looked great awash in claret and amber and blue and white), the scarves, the state of the pitch. It all added to the experience of being in the last eight of the world’s most famous cup competition.

Worst moment of 2015?

Not being able to thank the players properly after the defeat to Reading. Yes we clapped and cheered them, but it was a moment ruined by the home fans pitch invasion. That set of players deserved to savour the adulation, but unfortunately they were unable to do so.

Hope for 2016?

Promotion…

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Damien Wilkinson

Best moment of 2015?

A bit predictable but Chelsea away.  One of those completely surreal days with just about every ingredient a City fan could only have dreamt of; a glorious comeback, fantastic goals, incredible atmosphere.

Off the field the failure of Palladini’s takeover also felt like the dodging of a bullet laced with untold crazy after effects, and may well be one of the better moments of 2015.

Worst moment of 2015?

Probably the 2-0 away defeat at Colchester at the end of September.  Not so much the result but the manner of the performance, which was woeful after the second goal on 32 minutes went in.  The complete lack of response, the usual hallmark of a Parkinson side, coupled with a mixed start to the season, caused things to look very bleak at that stage, not helped by a long journey home!

Hope for 2016?

Whilst I would clearly love a successful promotion bid, I don’t think failure would be the end of the world by any stretch.  My biggest hope (and very wishful thinking) would be that the club is able to attract some form of investment such that a sensible and sustainable progression is possible, undertaken by someone with the club’s longer term interests in mind.

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Image by Thomas Gadd (thomasgadd.co.uk)

Jason McKeown

Best moment of 2015?

Adam Johnson dallying on the ball near his own corner flag and not realising that James Meredith was closing him down, a panicky clearance is intercepted by James Hanson, who feeds Jon Stead in space to beat a defender and fire a low shot into the goal in front of the Kop. Bradford City 2 Sunderland 0. One of the best afternoons I have ever experienced at Valley Parade.

Worst moment of 2015?

The Gianni Paladini takeover bid may have excited some fans, but I was firmly in the camp of those who feared the club might be selling its soul just when it was moving in the right path. It all came to a head that week where the deadline approached and Phil Parkinson looked set to leave the club for Sheffield United. Thankfully it all worked out in the end, and City have continued to move forwards.

Hope for 2016?

That the push for promotion continues and – succeed or fail – we strengthen again in the summer. We are on the right track, and we just need to keep following this path.

Oh, and I also hope people buy my book!

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Categories: Opinion

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4 replies

  1. Sorry to inject a negative vibe here but the developmentsfrom at Bramall lane mean we must look at ourselves. No-one can excuse the alleged chanting of the United fans but the chants of our away fans though mostly funny, are often vile. I hear the. C word regularly used neartofemalesupporters and the F word used near to children by City “fans”. Pot, kettle, black, spring to mind. We need to sort it or the future supporters won’t come.
    It’s as bad as racism butwepretend normal abuse is ok..

  2. Not sure what you can do about the football environment it was it is. You may need to sit in a different stand. It is an emotional experience it always has been especially in the kop. When I first started going to city at the age of 7 I was told by my uncle whatever you hear stays at football. You don’t tepeat the words at school or at home. Football also gives people the opportunity to de stress – shouting at players referees, singing etc these are often well to do people who have good jobs family’s etc. ppl use the football atmosphere to their benefit. i think society has changed you hear more offensive words being used outside local shops in pubs, bus stops etc. I do not agree with racist jibes but I would not want the match day experience to change.

  3. Idler, agree with all you say; nor. Would I want to see theexperience change. For kids, fair play, their parents can provide context.”but the c word among females really grates. Maybe I am just too old to get it ; thought. I was liberal but hey, can consider alternative views.

  4. Idler has a point in that there has always been a bit of an edge to football support, a passion, an under current if you like. Lose that and I think we’ll lose something very significant in the game and going to football would be just like any other entertainment. We’d might as well pipe crowd noise into the stadium.

    However, Chris is absolutely spot on. There’s some jokers out there who have no self awareness, behaving like obnoxious thugs spoiling the match for those unfortunate enough to be near them. I’ve noticed there tends to be more of them the more successful we get – I’m sure the problem has got worse in the last couple of years. I also watch a lot of non-league football and don’t see the same sort of behaviour at these games.

    I’m minded of the Bristol City away match last season. Mid week game, small Bradford City following. It was a super game spoilt a little for me by circa 6/8 fans who, despite having shelled out a fortune for a ticket and presumably travel from West Yorkshire seemed to spend most of the evening not watching the game but snarling / swearing / goading the opposition fans. Most bizarre as I really enjoyed the game and would have thought Phil and the team would have preferred their vocal backing rather than them spending the majority of the game with their backs to the pitch.

    The amusing thing for me was all these guys were old enough to be my dad, (and I’m in my forties), and one was a very well known supporter. I think in their heads they were in their early 20’s, urban warriors, alpha males,”Bradford’s finest” whereas all I saw were sad, delusional old men behaving like idiots. It gives me hope that the new generation of supporter will have all the passion we love about football but without some of the idiocy.

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