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FOCUS FIRST ON PLAYER'S CONTRACTS

4 May 2014

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson says one of the first jobs on his 'to do' list this summer will be to try and tie down some of the existing players already in his squad to new contracts.

Going into the close season, the Bantams have a significant number of players out of contract, including some of the starters in Saturday's win at Tranmere Rovers.

Like almost all other managers in the Football League, Parkinson is looking to use the summer to add to his group with a batch of new signings ahead of the new campaign in August.

Before doing that, however, Parkinson wants to speak with City's current crop of players first to decide where their futures lie.

Parkinson said: "While we are looking to freshen up the squad (in the summer), it is important that we concentrate on our existing players first who are out of contract.

"We've had some players here who have worked really hard for us over the last couple of years, and my first priority is to sit down with the board, the players, and their agents to try and secure as many of them as we can to take us into the summer in a strong position."

After scoring his first goal for City in the Tranmere win, Jon Stead is one of a clutch of loan players who will now be returning back to their clubs after spells at the Coral Windows Stadium.

City had six loan players on their books going into their last game of the season at Tranmere, while Adam Reach also enjoyed a productive period with Parkinson's men before recently returning to parent club Middlesbrough.

As the door closed on another season this weekend, Parkinson wanted to thank all the loanees for their efforts.

Parkinson added: "I'd like to thank them all - they have been terrific for us.

"It is never easy coming into a new club as a loan players and, equally, it is never easy as a manager when you have to bring in so many loan players.

"Each and every one of the lads have come in and helped the squad out, however. They have all made made contributions.

"Even the players like Arron Jameson and Chris Atkinson, who haven't featured as much, have been excellent in training. Their attitude around the training ground has been brilliant. Chris hasn't been helped by the fact he has been injured for the last month.

"Two of the other lads - Adam Drury and Jon Stead - are two experienced and senior pros. They came in at an important time in the season for us and their professionalism has really helped us finish the season off in a strong way.

"The other lads, such as Benno (Kyle Bennett), Reachy (Adam Reach) and Matty Dolan, have also come in and played significant roles, which has been important.

"There is always a danger when you have a tight-knit group like we have here and then bring in a group of loan players, it can affect the spirit in the camp if you don't bring in the right sort of characters.

"That hasn't been the case, however, and I have to go on record and thank each and every one of the loan players."


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