The Michael Wood Column

Wednesday 06 November, 2002

Waiting for the great leap forward

There is a danger of making too much of City's signing of Leeds United's 21-year old Bradford-born Harpal Singh, the first high profile Asian signing the club have made.

Firstly Singh the player has never played a Premiership game. Like Stephen Warnock and Michael Proctor he is a raw prospect. We hear good reports about him but we are not getting the finished article.

Singh and fellow new signing Delroy Facey are joining a squad that has fallen out of the habit of getting results. We score a good win here and there but have no constancy and the route to consistency is not signing kids.

Those in charge at Valley Parade will have noticed that Bradford City's following does not reflect the population of Bradford. If the Singh signing is an attempt to court favour with the local Asian community it could prove misplaced- Asia is a big continent and Bradford's Eastern community is Muslim, Singh is not- and put much pressure on a young man.

However, there is also a danger of making too little of the Singh signing.

We are adding another good young player to the ranks of the squad, a left footed one by all accounts and one with a growing reputation for excellence. We are giving the squad a shot in the arm by adding someone to play down the left flank, Wayne Jacobs is not a left winger, and everyone gets a boost by the addition of squad members.

And if those in charge at Valley Parade have made this move to try bring in more Asian supporters then more power to them. Valley Parade's demographic should more closely resemble Bradford's and for that matter so should Bradford City's squad. When City line up on Saturday we could do it with three Bradford born players: Mark Bower, Danny Cadamarteri and Harpal Singh, a team to reflect the multi-cultural heritage of the City itself.

Twenty five years ago City broken new ground by fielding a black man named Ces Podd. Now Delroy Facey joins the club and no one even mentions his colour. In twenty five years time the likes of Harpal Singh my be so unexceptional.

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