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Squad on show

12 July 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson says that the vast majority of his squad will be on show this Saturday when City kick off their pre-season programme of fixtures with their first friendly of the summer at Guiseley AFC.

With City ready to take their preparations up a notch ahead of the forthcoming new season, Parkinson's men will travel to Guiseley's Nethermoor ground on Saturday (kick off 3:00pm) before jetting off to start their week-long stay in Ireland barely twenty-four hours later.

Given that Saturday's match with Guiseley will be the club's first of pre-season, most of the squad will be penciled in to play a half each, meaning City are set to field two largely different sides in the first and second periods at Nethermoor.

Parkinson's squad did play each other in a fourty-five minute behind-closed-doors match at the Coral Windows Stadium on Wednesday, but Saturday will be City's first real chance to get some match practice under their belts.

Luke Oliver and Andrew Davies are certain not to feature against the Blue Square Bet North team, although Parkinson did confirm that at least a couple of trialists could be on show at the weekend.

Oliver is continuing on the road to recovery from the Achilles tendon injury that ended his campaign early last season, while Davies won't be risked either as he is currently nursing a minor calf issue.

Parkinson said: "It (Saturday) will be too soon for Luke. Andrew Davies has a problem with his calf and won't feature also.

"It is similar to something he had last season but we are looking into it.

"I don't see it being a major problem for Andrew but Saturday's game will come too soon for him. It is our first friendly back and there is no need to send him out there for no reason.

"Everyone else who is available we will try and get them some minutes on the pitch.

"There is also the possibility of a few trialists being in the squad for Saturday as well. 

"Any that feature will obviously be given the chance to get some minutes out there on the pitch, but Saturday is mainly about getting our own players some match sharpness.

"Physically, we are looking in a good shape - the lads have done a lot of good work on the training ground - and they are ready for it.

"Last year when we played Guiseley there was a little bit of a different focus on the match because we'd already had three games in pre-season. This year our game with them will be our first official match (of pre-season).

"We'll be treating this Saturday as a bit of a training session for the lads. As the games progress, they will get more match minutes."

Saturday's game will be City's first public fixture since clinching promotion at Wembley Stadium back in May via the Play-Offs. The match with Guiseley should also give supporters their first glimpse of summer signings Jason Kennedy and Mark Yeates.

Parkinson added: "It will be a good opportunity for our supporters to see the lads again and to see some new faces as well. After the success of last season, Saturday will see us start off on another journey.

"We are excited about it already."

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