For the last few seasons, City have been far too soft in the heart of the defence. Opposing strikers have often found it far too easy to walk through the defence, and could leave the pitch being forgiven for thinking there was no defender marking them. City boss Peter Jackson has finally looked to have resolved this problem with today’s signing of Guy Branston from Torquay. Branston joins from Torquay who only conceded a mere 53 goals last season.
Branston has had a somewhat nomadic career so far, taking in almost 20 clubs since beginning his professional career over ten years ago. The two year contract he has signed with the club will see him stay at Valley Parade until he is 34. A worry, you may think, but it sees him tied to City for the next two years – just as he is coming into the best patch of his career.
His recent record is excellent; he played last season in one of the meanest defences in League Two – one which went ten games without conceding. He also found himself in the PFA League Two Team of the Year and managed to scoop himself the Torquay Player of the Season award, as well. City seem to have captured Branston when he is coming into the best form of his career.
Branston also has big game experience and experience of winning. Throughout his career, Branston has won the play offs twice, with Sheffield Wednesday and Colchester, was part of the back-to-back promotions under Ro**ie Mo*re at Rotherham and won the league in his brief spell at Kettering Town. His experience will be vital in what could be a youthful squad next season.
He could also prove to be perfect foil for bringing out the undoubted potential that Steve Williams has. His first season was excellent but last year Williams suffered a lot and made far too many soft mistakes. Playing alongside Branston, and training with such a vastly experienced centre half can only help Williams, and may finally produce the player we know he can be.
In the interest of balance though, it is worth noting that he was mysteriously pushed out of Burton, allegedly for having a poor attitude. Obviously there could be many reasons for this, but as long as we get the correct level of professionalism from Branston, Peter Jackson has managed to secure exactly the type of player Bradford City need.
And as a final positive, it should allow Luke Oliver to move back to his preferred position of centre forward!