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Bradford City visit Tadcaster Albion for pre-season friendly
HISTORY will be written at Tadcaster Albion ’s major friendly of the pre-season – the visit of npower League Two side Bradford City tomorrow.
The Bantams match will coincide with the first crop of players to sign contract terms with the Northern Counties East League premier division outfit.
Manager Paul Marshall said at least three of his players – defender Ryan Qualter, midfielder Nick Thompson and striker Stuart Rice, who has returned to the club from fellow NCEL top-flight rivals Pickering Town – have agreed to pen contracts tomorrow.
“This will be the first time in club history that we have had players on contract,” said Marshall, whose squad will be trimmed to just 18 or 19 players for the upcoming campaign.
“We are not having a reserves team for next season, so I am keeping the squad to a relatively small number, so it will be great to have at least three of our players on contract terms.”
Marshall, who sadly watched his team fade from a title-challenging position at the turn of 2012, said “a new era” was being ushered in at Albion.
After losing his top two lieutenants Rob Hunter and Mark Smitheringale to new job prospects at the end of last season, Marshall has assembled a new backroom team.
Rob Pell, the former Rotherham player, has stepped up from captain of the senior Taddy ranks to the role of player assistant-manager to Marshall.
Mike Morton, who coaches four days a week at new Barclays Premier League kings Manchester City, is now the new head coach at Albion, while physio Andy Calvert will combine those duties with an extra role as fitness coach.
On the pitch the Tadcaster side have not only welcomed back Rice, but have also signed Tom Owen who has been released from York City. Owen marked his debut with the winner in the midweek friendly at Yorkshire Amateur.
Another new recruit is university student Tom Day, a young forward who had a spell with Bristol Rovers.
“I have a new backroom team. We have several newcomers to what is a smaller squad, so it’s all very exciting times at the club,” stressed Marshall.
“It’s a fresh start for me, the team and the club so hopefully we can take that on to do well.”
A big boost for Albion was attracting opposition of the quality of Bradford to their Ings Lane base tomorrow.
“We’re just hoping for as big a crowd as possible,” added Marshall.
“Some estimates put it at more than 1,000 and that will be a big bonus for the club if that comes off.”
Tadcaster will open their new NCEL premier division season away to Bridlington on Saturday, August 4.