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Club News

Heaton returns home

23 May 2013

Promising youngster Niall Heaton has returned to the Coral Windows Stadium to re-sign for Bradford City.

The towering centre half will come back into the football club as a second-year apprentice with Steve Thornber's youth team, with the option of a one-year professional contract waiting for the 16 year-old.

Heaton, who had previously been part of City's Academy/Centre of Excellence programme, originally left Valley Parade as a 14 year-old to join up with Premiership giants Liverpool.

During his time on Merseyside, Heaton also represented England at schoolboy level.

After fighting off the advances of more than one rival club to secure Heaton's signature, City's Head of Youth Development Peter Horne expressed his delight at bringing the defender back to Valley Parade.

Horne said: "I'm pleased to see Niall sign for more than one reason really.

"I'm obviously pleased to have Niall back at the football club. He has been here before so he has idea what the club is all about.

"I am also pleased for Niall that he has had his time with a great club like Liverpool and had the opportunity to be part of some fantastic development work on his game.

"Another why I am really pleased over Niall's return to the club is that, although there were a few other clubs of probably a higher stature than us interested in him, he chose to come back to Bradford.

"I think that says something about where the club is going.

"Niall and his parents came and met the gaffer (Phil Parkinson) and had a look at our training facilities down at Woodhouse Grove last week before signing. I think what he heard and what he saw on his visit to the club were deciding factors in convincing Niall to come back here.

"Niall is a very strong and very quick central defender. He is left-footed, which sometimes can be a bonus, and has a massive throw. He also has a great attitude and appetite for the game.

"He certainly has all the attributes to his game, it is just up to him now to prove to us that he wants to be a first-team player here at Bradford City.

"All in all though, it is great to have Niall back and we have high hopes for him."

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