As part of our 'New Kids on the Block' feature, we took a look yesterday at Millwall, who dropped into League One from the Championship and will become one of City’s ‘new’ opponents for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
Wigan Athletic are another side who will be dropping down, although it probably came as more of a shock to football fans as The Latics were a Premier League side, and FA Cup winners just a couple of years ago.
The last time Wigan were in the third tier of the Football League, was back in 2003 when they won the Division Two (as it was then called) title with 100 points. Athletic just missed out in the Division One Play-Offs the following season, and in the first year of the Division being called ‘The Championship’, they finished as runners-up to Sunderland, to earn promotion and a first ever appearance in the top flight of English football.
The Latics stayed in the Premier League for 8 seasons before relegation back into the Championship in 2013. Uwe Rosler guided the club to the play-offs in 2013-14 as they sought after an immediate return to the Premier League but it all went wrong for the Lancashire club in the second season since the drop, and faced relegation once more – this time into the third tier.
23rd in The ChampionshipLast Season:
Manager – Gary Caldwell
Yesterday (Thursday) we covered Millwall’s young manager Neil Harris, and today we talk about an even younger manager, Gary Caldwell - aged just 33.
Caldwell began his playing career with Newcastle United in 2001 having spent time in the youth system at the club and prior to that he had a two year spell in Celtic’s academy. He failed to make an appearance for The Toon Army, and following loan spells with Darlington, Hibernian, Coventry City, and Derby County, he returned to Hibernian on a permanent basis in 2004.
Gary made 88 league appearances (5 goals) during a two year stay at Easter Road, but sealed a return to Celtic in 2006. During 4 years with the Glasgow giants, Caldwell made 106 league appearances (5 goals), and helped the club to win the league twice, one Scottish Cup, and one League Cup. In 2010, he moved to English Premier League side Wigan Athletic on a four and a half year contract for an undisclosed fee. Early in the 2010-11 season, he was appointed as captain, and in total for the club, he made 102 league appearances (16 goals).
Also capped 55 times by Scotland, Caldwell announce his retirement in February 2015 after being unable to recover from a long term hip injury. In April, he was appointed as manager of Wigan Athletic. With the new chairman David Sharpe, who is the grandson of former chairman Dave Whelan, being only 23 years old; there is very much a young feel to Wigan Athletic football club for the upcoming season.
Key Player – James McClean
Whether he will be a Wigan Athletic player or not come the start of the season remains a different matter, but James McClean will be expected to light up League One should he opt to stay with his current employers.
The Derry born winger, who has 25 caps for the Republic of Ireland, rose to attention during his 2 year spell with Premier League Sunderland. After scoring 18 goals in 78 league appearances for Derry City between 2008 and 2011, he signed for The Black Cats in August 2011 for a fee of £350,000.
It took him about half a season to break into the team at Sunderland, but he went on to make 70 league appearances (11 goals) with his first goal for the club coming against his current employers Wigan Athletic in a 4-1 win for Sunderland in January 2012.
McClean signed for newly relegated Wigan Athletic in August 2013 and made his debut for the club in a 2-0 FA Community Shield defeat to Manchester United at Wembley Stadium. Top scoring for the club, in the 2014-15 season with 6 goals, he will certainly be one that Gary Caldwell will be hoping to keep amidst the potential squad clear out.
Head to Head
Bradford wins: 10
Wigan wins: 9
Wigan Athletic 0-0 Bradford City (Bradford win 2-4 on penalties)
DW Stadium Venue:
Capital One Cup 4th Competition:Round
Below is the Penalties grid. City's Nathan Doyle took the first spot kick of the shoot-out.
|Wigan Athletic||Scored/Missed||Bradford City||Scored/Missed|
|David Jones||Scored||Nathan Doyle||Scored|
|Ben Watson||Scored||Gary Jones||Scored|
|Shaun Maloney||Missed||Stephen Darby||Scored|
|Jordi Gomez||Missed||Alan Connell||Scored|