The Bantams' Carl McHugh has been awarded the npower Football League Young Player of the Month Award for January.
The award comes after the young defender fully played his part in an incredible month of January for City - a period which Phil Parkinson's men secure their place in this weekend's Capital One Cup Final.
McHugh played in both legs of City's cup semi-final against Aston Villa, scoring the Bantams' vital third goal on the night in their first leg victory over Villa at the Coral Windows Stadium.
The award also acknowledges McHugh's commendable rise up the pecking order at the Coral Windows Stadium from relatively unknown trialist last summer to fully fledged first team member now.
On winning the award, McHugh said, “January was an incredible month for me, the cup run has been crazy with some of the teams we knocked out but now we are so close and want to go on and win the thing.
“My main thing with all big games is to make sure I enjoy them, that is what I told myself before the Arsenal game, but my goal against Villa is the stand-out moment for me.”
Bantams manager Phil Parkinson, added, “When we signed Carl we saw him as a youngster who would develop with the club as we progressed but he has continued to perform far above our expectations.
“He is an immense character, he’s a leader, he’s tough and he loves defending. Although he is still very young, especially for a centre-back, he plays like an old head on young shoulders. He is a pleasure to work with and is going to get better and better.”
Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £40m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent. Around a third of this money (£12.6m) is provided by the Football Association and Premier League.
There are 8,700 young players registered with League clubs making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football. In the 2012/13 season to date, 179 players aged 21 or under have made their professional debuts for Football League clubs.
Bantams favourite David Wetherall, now Head of Youth Development at The Football League, said, “As a former Bradford City player, it’s fantastic to see a young player like Carl coming through and playing some fantastic football.
“His performances in January have been outstanding and he has made real progress since joining the club. This award is testament to a successful month for him.”
Each month the accolade will be awarded by The Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21.
For more information on the award and each month’s winner visitwww.football-league.co.uk.