Friday, 14 November 2014

Team #BCAFC At The Football Blogging Awards


Thank you!

The Width of A Post writing team: (L-R) Jason, Mahesh, Katie and Damien

Last night, I descended on Manchester with The Width of A Post to attend the Football Blogging Awards, held at the city's National Football Museum. WOAP was in the running for two awards - Best Club Blog and Best Established Blog - and I'd made the ten-strong shortlist for the Best Female Blogger. The nominees were decided purely on a public vote - and this article is a thank you to every single person who backed us.

I'm not going to lie: it was gutting to leave empty-handed. I was deservedly beaten by the excellent Yes, I Can Explain The Offside Rule and the LiverBird blog, while WOAP was pipped to the, err, post by sites from Coventry City, Spurs, Aston Villa and the FootballFancast. But we had a fantastic night - sharing a table with my fellow WOAP writers, meeting some of them for the first time, was brilliant, and I loved chatting to Jason, Mahesh and Damien about all things Bradford City. The fleeting look around the museum's epic collection was also a highlight, and they've accumulated a stunning plethora of memrobilia and trophies: housed in a glass display cabinet is the infamous Liverpool beach ball from Darren Bent's dubious Sunderland goal, and the giant Michael Jackson statue that formerly guarded Craven Cottage was relocated to the museum earlier this year. If you ever get the chance to go there, go - there's so much more we didn't see, and it's certainly worth the trip.

Moreover, merely being there represented a great night for Width of A Post and me. 60,000 votes were cast. Over 1,000 blogs were nominated, from more than 25 countries. To be competing against some of the real heavyweights of the blogging sphere - writers that cover the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Manchester City - says it all, and I'm so proud and thankful that, in our own small way, we got to fly the flag for the Football League at one of the UK's premier blogging events. That we got that opportunity is down to you, our readers - Bradford City's uniquely dedicated fanbase. The recognition the Football Blogging Awards offers is priceless - congratulations, in particular, to Coventry City's Sky Blues blog, who beat us in the Best Club category.

I cringe at some of my old blog posts and articles, and there's no doubt running a blog can be stressful - I've no idea how Jason manages WOAP as expertly as he does, and the time he sacrifices to make the site what it is can never be understated - but what starting a blog has given me is confidence, an escape from that perpetual state of limbo that comes with being a teenager, a chance to become a better writer - and memories that will last a lifetime. Interviewing Stephen Darby and Gary Jones in the beer garden of the Shoulder of Mutton, ahead of the play-off final, was the perfect way to cap-off the We Made History season, as awkward as my interview technique may have been; work experience at Radio Leeds, shadowing the journalists at City's press conference, felt like the ultimate competition prize. Being approached by Tom and Dom to front a segment of their Bradford City West Yorkshire Sport show was another huge boost. Meeting Darby again at the curry night last week, and him asking me questions about my blog, was surreal. Last night was another one to add to a list that, I hope, can get longer.

Things like that, as little as they might appear to be, make all the toil worthwhile. Juggling football with the other parts of my life is difficult, and reporting on the Doncaster game last week was a struggle having not been to Valley Parade for weeks. Writing my goodbye to Gary Jones was more frustrating than it was cathartic, as it felt nothing I penned was doing him justice. I was anxious about it going live, but the piece's reception was overwhelming and, for me, among the most touching feedback I've ever received. The fact Jones even read it, and sent me a message to thank me, felt like the perfect end to that era.

Because that's what this is all about - history. Every article we write is our conception of a period, a moment, a minute, that moved us or touched us or angered us or inspired us in some way. Reading WOAP's excellent League Cup coverage takes you right back to those heady nights; Bantams Banter's podcasts, too - nerves on a knife edge and praying 'impossible' would shake its prefix. I've only been writing for Jason's site a short while, but if any of the articles I've submitted have become as timeless as those, I'll be happy.

That miracle season was unprecedented for Bradford City, and seeing my pseudonym in lights was unpredented for me, too. This site has taken a back seat as I've become more involved with WOAP - a platform I prefer, in all honesty - and, though 'Bantams Blogger the website' will stay live, it may be abandoned in the coming months as I move to work solely with Jason. There's also the question of university, and whether City will continue to be such a huge part of my life as I move on to the next stage of my education. The future's shrouded in uncertainty, but that doesn't take away the past.

All that remains to be said is thank you. Thank you to Tom and Dom, the Bantams Banter boys, for their ongoing support. Thank you to Jason, whose mentoring has been invaluable to me - thank you for creating Width of A Post, and putting in so much of your own time, unpaid, to help writers like me grow and get noticed. And thank you to you, the reader - not just for getting me to Manchester, but for all your support.  Thank you for taking the time to read my articles, write comments, spur me on and encourage me. Truthfully, I started blogging on a whim, and never thought about what it would lead to, where it would go. I never expected to write alongside Jason and his team, and I'm honoured to collaborate with Width of A Post. I'm sorry I couldn't do you proud and clean up yesterday, but thank you nonetheless.

I'll be on Gillingham match report duty a few weeks from now (for WOAP), and you can read my most recent piece, a report from the Doncaster game, here, if you wish. Alternatively, scroll down to see some of the pictures from yesterday's ceremony.

Jason and Katie

My name in lights
Not a Bad exhibit to have, even if getting rid of it was Dangerous for Fulham


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Latest News

Just a quick update to let you know that, although I haven't posted any new articles on this site since February, I am still writing about the fortunes of Bradford City. Most of you will know already that I've been writing for Width of A Post for a while, and the bulk of my work is done for Jason's site - of which I'm now Deputy Editor.

If you're viewing on web mode, you can see my most recent work on the 'Latest Articles' panel at the side. The things I write for other sites are all archived in my Other Work section, which you can visit if you click here. In the meantime, head over to to check out the latest from Jason's excellent writing team - and me. And be sure to follow me on Twitter - I'm @BantamsBlogger.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 24 February 2014

We saw it through no matter what

“I wanted you to see something about her – I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do…” – Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

   I love that quote. If my quote wall was an actual wall, rather than just a series of haste scribbles on the back of a refill pad, that one would be wedged firmly atop my diamond nine. I could write a whole essay on what I love about To Kill A Mockingbird, but I don’t think it’s difficult to work out why I picked that quote out for this article.
   For me, that sums up City’s cup final. To a letter. In that paragraph, you can find everything about that game against Swansea. In many ways, there’s really no point in me writing this now. What I need to say is right there. The score? It didn’t matter. Most of us – admittedly, not me – knew the result weeks before a ball was kicked, even if we’d allowed ourselves, for a moment, while we were whipped up in the middle of the media tornado, to dream up a happier scenario. We didn’t win, but we had a go. We were under the cosh, but we mustered a shot on target towards the end and celebrated like we’d actually qualified for the Europa League. We felt hurt, dejected, betrayed and ruthlessly deserted by the football Gods as a lonely Duke slumped off the pitch to a veracious reception, but we kept the flags waving long into the night.
   We saw it through no matter what.
   Looking back on it is odd. It’s not so much that it was a year ago – the time feels about right. It’s more that it happened at all.
   I’d long accepted that City would never reach a cup final. I’d dreamed of the play-offs, of my club reaching the national stadium, but even the JPT final, the most plausible of all the annual Wembley showpieces, had almost always seemed an utterly outlandish prospect, so how could I have possibly envisaged this? My brother’s team, Liverpool, were the side that blessed our house with grandeur and glory and major cup finals, so how had we stumbled into this world? What kind of mad foray had brought us here? Surely we would be rumbled, caught out, shown to be the impostors? I stepped off the coach tentatively, half expecting to look out along Wembley Way and see the blue and white of Chelsea, or the red and black of Manchester United. Seeing the claret and amber brought a wave of stunned relief. It seemed an hour or so before the Swansea clan rocked up.
   When we were on the concourse, I was confident. Being at Wembley felt… right. We were there on merit. There was no reason to be scared. Even as I ran the pole of those now famous flags between my fingers (I genuinely didn’t believe they were free), I felt relaxed. ‘Claret and Amber’ blared from the speakers and I felt even more at home. Even when the teams lined up in their black tracksuits, I was bizarrely composed. When Swansea got their first, for crying out loud, I still thought we’d pull it back.
   What I remember about that goal, though, is the pain. To this day, I’ve only seen the goals back once (my dad tactfully deleted the game from the Sky planner as soon as we got back from London, in a bid to protect me from some semi-repressed memories), but I can recall someone losing their marker and knowing the worst was to come. Dyer prodded. Duke stretched his arm to the side. McArdle threw himself forward. But that was it. Dyer celebrated in front of us as we struggled to believe City were trailing. An ebb of doubt flickered in my mind and, for the first time, I genuinely feared for the result. This wasn’t a part of the dream.
   Five goals against, a red card and one meek shot on target was never part of the dream. One foray forward was never part of the dream. Watching City chase shadows for 90 minutes, recklessly made human and demoralised before our eyes, was a concept dismissed at the drawing board. But I couldn’t have been prouder.
   Because we saw it through no matter what.
   In that final half an hour, I didn’t want to be anywhere else. As I stood up and waved my flag, nothing else on the pitch mattered. I knew most of my friends would have turned off their televisions by now, but some would still be watching – and this is what they would be seeing.
   Us. Here. Trapped in this moment.
   In that period, I felt more affirmed than I ever have as a football fan. We stood, unified, united, together, the vocal and proud – so, so proud - personification of the mantra and mentality that had carried the team since Burton.
   It’s only a cup.
   At the time, though, it hurt. I burst into tears in the stands, sobbed away in the toilets, sighed all the way back to the coach. Women in the queue scowled at me, muttered those words of consolation that never actually offer any consolation – “It’s only a game”. I thought back over the months of media coverage and blasted fate for not giving us what we’d been rightly entitled to – reality, it seemed, bites hard. It was a selfish way of looking at the cup run, but I feared my time supporting City had already reached its apex; that the next few games would be the hangover, some desperate, contrived attempt to rekindle the magic of something that would never happen again. I slipped into the darkened Wembley night ironically humming ‘Premier League? You’re Having A Laugh!’, not particularly thinking anything other than that I had to keep my emotions in check or risk my mum would veto my plea for play-off tickets should City make the season finale. My auntie reminded me I had the bread and butter delight of Dagenham and Redbridge to look forward to just days after. The elitist part of me died inside.
   And then the coach driver tipped me over the edge by playing Emeli Sande, which is the last thing you want to hear (after Adele) when you’re stuck behind 20 coaches in a London car park and wallowing in the self-pity that comes with witnessing your team fall victims to the heaviest cup final defeat of all time.
   You rarely win, but sometimes you do.
   And we did. We were winners by just reaching that stage. A cup final? We’ll never dp that again. Swansea might. Liverpool will. Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City - easily. A Championship team? Maybe. But someone from the fourth division? No chance. That’ll never, ever happen again. The cup final has become the preserve of the elite once more.
   A cup final. And I was there. I’ll have to put up with some stick at school tomorrow, and this car park will undoubtedly take an age to get out of, but I was there. I was at Wembley. I was waving a flag. I was there when Gary Jones tamely flashed the ball towards goal. I was there on the day that Bradford City reached a major cup final.
   I was there when we made history.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Bradford City 3-3 Crewe Alexandra

He's Magic, You Know! City Wizard Casts Almighty Charm That Spells A Draw For Resilient Bantams


   It was a clinical effort.
   He powered forward from the centre, the ball at his feet, the mud sloshing at his ankles, McLean waiting for the reception. He played it through. McLean flicked it into his path. The ball fell to his feet. He arched his back, swung his foot, and pulled the trigger.
   Textbook stuff.
   The ball flashed forwards, as powerful and unstoppable as its sender had been for the previous 59 minutes. It was ambitious from that distance. Ben Garratt dived low. Valley Parade paused and prayed. The keeper’s arms stretched out, but it was too late. The ball slipped under and the net bulged.
   That was all the confirmation we needed.
   I can’t tell you how happy I was to see him get that goal. I hadn’t celebrated that wildly in a long, long time. There was screaming, squealing, manic jumping, hoarse shouts, first pumping, a Gary Neville goalgasm, a temporary flit to Mariah Carey vocal range, shaking, hugging – the whole works. My vision may have blurred. I don’t know. In any case, I had to sit down for a minute afterwards and collect myself together, rediscover the composure that had disintegrated in an eyeblink following 15 minutes of pure rampancy from my heroes. A 0-2 deficit crushed after 15 minutes of unrelenting pressure, effort and hard work.
   You can say whatever you like about this team, but you can never, ever, ever criticise their spirit. Gary Jones - in all his impassioned, valiant, knee-sliding glory - is the one-man embodiment of everything Phil Parkinson ever set out to do and has done for this club. If I wanted to, I could run an entire series based solely upon the City supremo’s managerial credentials and the improvement to individual players since he’s been here (Episode one, the rise and rise of James Hanson, is coming soon), but you need look no further than the Bantams’ Captain Fantastic to find what this club is really all about.
   As Parkinson said after the game, the second half was a proper Bradford City performance. 
   Which compensated for a mixed first half. Some of Bradford’s passing play was accurate and impressive, and the game was fairly evenly paced, but the hosts struggled against the conditions and lacked the prowess to really take the game to Crewe. Debutant Matty Dolan failed to convert a James Hanson knockdown and Gary Jones came close with a ferocious strike from the edge of the box, but Crewe inched in twice in a difficult opening quarter.
   It was the visitors who opened the scoring on twelve minutes. Carl McHugh and Jon McLaughlin became entangled as Uche Ikpeazu raced forwards, and the striker cleanly lobbed over as Davies scrambled backwards to cover. It was sick, deflating and saddening – City, once again, had left themselves with it all to do.
   The back four struggled against Crewe’s imposing and hugely organised forward three, who, as well as bearing physical resemblance to three Akinfenwas, were all neat flick ons, clean runs-in behind and slick, insightful movements. The deluge of rain did little to lift our already dampened spirits, and, though there were some positives to take from the first half – most notably, no reversion to directness when the circumstances could easily have forced a leap into hoof-ball – it was largely 45 minutes to forget for the Bantams.
   But City really came out of the blocks in the second half. From the off, it was urgent, convincing and persuasive, the Bantams creating a flush of chances in the final third. Adam Reach’s cross was met by a Hanson header, but Garratt somehow flicked the danger away with an impressive fingertip save. The winger’s blistering retort moments later was blocked amidst the goalmouth melee and Dolan slid the rebound just wide, while Darby powered down the right flank to deliver a teasing cross that blinked just an inch in front of McLean. Hanson again saw a header denied and McLean’s smooth stab was blocked from close range. It was City, City, City, the Bantams on top and refusing to allow Alexandra to breathe. Something had to happen now.
   Crewe goal.
   The visitors broke quickly in a desperate relief from Bradford pressure, and Ikpeazu added a second to his tally after firing home McLaughlin’s parry. 0-2 – surely City couldn’t salvage anything from this game now.
   But less than four minutes later, City were back on the front foot. McLean squared the ball perfectly to Hanson and the forward fired low to put the Bantams back in the contest.
   It was a fightback that had been led by the Bantams’ captain, so how apt that Gary Jones found himself coming to a dramatic knee slide in front of the Kop, and toasting drawing the Bantams level. How had this happened? How had this really happened? It would seem that, importantly, and in the face of any number of insurmountable and disheartening challenges, the effort of this team never, ever falters – no matter how horrendous the football becomes, one can always take comfort in the passion coursing through the veins of every player donning the claret and amber right now.
   Yet, there were more twists and turns to come for a narrative that looked to have already climaxed. In what seemed like a final, crushing blow for the home side, Crewe found the net with just ten minutes remaining. It all looked over as Mathias Pogba fired past McLaughlin.
   But no one had told that to Gary Jones.
   The 36 year old gladly received McLean’s lay-off and slotted home in an exact carbon copy of his earlier goal. Come on, City.
   Naturally, questions were raised today. The passivity of the first half and the readiness of the defence to ship three goals in such a way, both present problems that need to be addressed sooner, rather than later. The ‘one win in however many games it is this week’ quota still remains, hovering over this team and staunchly refusing to be banished. It’s worrying, but it shouldn’t consume us.
   Because the second half suggests that win is not too far away. In fact, it looks to be in touching distance. What today showed, above all else – what it dispelled and exhibited, rather than unearthed – is that City have enough to claw their way convincingly out of this nadir. Gary Jones - the lifeblood, the heart and soul, the public face, the figurehead, the Dumbledore in a team of Hogwarts alumni – is back to his best. You can’t even begin to argue otherwise. Aaron McLean and Hanson look to be working well – McLean, particularly, was hugely impressive today. You can choose to get bogged down in that now infamous statistic, or you can choose to keep the figure in context and marvel at the pros of what was a marvellous second half showing. Don’t bury your head in the sand, but, for tonight, celebrate that point and pay homage to Gary Jones with the biggest fist-pump you can muster.
   He’s sure earned it.

 Bantams Blogger’s Top Three:
1st: Gary Jones: A typically lionhearted performance from the cult hero. When the backs were against the wall, the captain made sure the team salvaged something. An inspired display in every aspect.

2nd: Aaron McLean: Hand in all three goals in an engaging shift. Looks a more intelligent and assist-making player than his predecessor, and there should be more to come from him as he gels with Hanson.

3rd: Stephen Darby: Another quality showing from the defender – give him a 60 billion year contract right now, please.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Bradford City 0-0 Preston North End


   “New boys can get Bantams smiling again,” the T&A headline had screamed prior to kick-off.
   It wasn’t wrong.
   It marked the fusion of the old and the new: City scaling the intoxicating heights of September with a dazzling passing performance from the familiar faces we know and love, but blended perfectly with the fresh impetus offered by new acquisitions. The mid-season resurgence that had begun with the courageous second-half fight back at Brammall Lane continued in equally impassioned vein, but with greater finesse and flow instigated by the hugely impressive Gary Jones, Adam Reach and Kyle Bennett.
   It was hard to believe it was the first time they’d played together.
   Though Huddersfield loanee Chris Atkinson wasn’t fielded for a game in which the Bantams recorded their first home clean sheet since September, his fellow Championship stars Reach and Bennett enthralled with captivating wing play, City working the flanks well and looking fresh, fluid and fast thanks to their young acquisitions.
   It was a wholesale shake-up from the side who had played Sheffield United. Long-term absentee Andrew Davies, making his first start since October, returned to centre-half as Bates was pushed over to left back, meaning Carl McHugh had to settle for a place on the bench. Thompson was sacrificed in favour of Doncaster striker Kyle Bennett, while Adam Reach lined up on the left wing and Nathan Doyle slotted back into centre midfield. The strike force remained the only untouched outfield area, McLean and Hanson both retaining their places.
   It was a very promising opening for Parkinson’s men. From the outset, they were captivating, to a man: Jones provided energetic, fluid dictation in the middle; Reach was a lively and calming presence on the left; Darby provided excellent attacking support for the lively Bennett, who oozed class in each and every manoeuvre: every pass was perfectly picked out and played, every cut inside menacing, every movement exciting, every attack even more promising than the last as City grew in stature and confidence. After the winger had effortlessly skipped down the wing, his inviting cross was teed marginally over by McLean, but the former Peterborough man fired wide before later struggling to muster the finish to Hanson’s superb flick-on. The Bantams looked organised and efficient, every inch an exciting League One outfit.
   But everything nearly crumbled just before the half hour mark. Bennett fouled Preston midfielder Neil Kilkenny and a minor tussle followed, with the Bradford winger dismissed after pushing his opponent. It was a controversial red card, arguably a harsh and heavy handed one, and the Lancashire side also found themselves reduced to ten men following Kilkenny’s comedic flop to the floor.
   City could have folded, but it’s credit to the perennial stoicism and unwavering resilience of Parkinson’s side that they carry on regardless of the problems they face. It was another example of the deep-rooted spirit the team possess, and Stephen Darby stepped up admirably to the plate to link-up well with McLean. Doyle lashed two ambitiously venomous efforts towards goal but both took late deflections, and McLean saw his textbook strike acrobatically denied by Declan Rudd.
   Preston grew into the game more as the second half opened. John Brownhill came close as the visitors capitalised on a Matthew Bates error and James Hanson flicked over the crossbar shortly after, as the game descended into an enthralling end-to-end clash. City threw everything forward, Bates, Davies and Reach all pummelling down the wing to deliver teasing cross after teasing cross, but the game remained at deadlock as the Bantams failed to capitalise. Preston hit the woodwork in a frantic 20 minute period in which either side could have scored: the Lancashire side were more clinical in the final third, but Bradford were tidy throughout and were always on the front foot.
   It was an excellent showing for City – possibly the best display since those heady early home highs against Sheffield United and Brentford – and high-flying Preston never looked a cut above the hosts. Most settling of all, the back line – bolstered by the return of lynchpin Andrew Davies - looked more stable and correlated, and, though there were admittedly occasions on which Preston looked like scoring, even Bates looked more assured, and McArdle came close to replicating the form shown in the reverse fixture last year. As McLean and Hanson get used to each other (McLean looks different to Nahki – perhaps a more creative entity who links with the wingers better) and Reach, Bennett and Atkinson are further integrated into proceedings, there is the potential for some excellent performances during the final half of the campaign.
   This display needs to be kept in context, of course, but a lot of questions have been answered and things suddenly seem so much brighter - yesterday was nothing but promising. The next challenge now lurks ominously and imposingly down the M6, ready to open the next draw of the Bantams’ League One account.

Bantams Blogger’s Top Three:

1st: Adam Reach: Dfyghsieinvosnchspaoegaujfksvpsv. Mind blown.

2nd: Andrew Davies / Stephen Darby: Superb return to action for the hugely influential centre half – a massive influence. Darby showed tenacity and determination getting forward, which is going to be critical while Meredith’s absent.

3rd: Gary Jones: Characteristically energetic in the centre of the park. Some great passes picked out and really brought the wide players into the game as City worked to make use of the flanks.



Friday, 10 January 2014

It's Not You; It's Me

The Nahki Wells story in break-up clichés

Nahki Wells has now left the club

   The saga is finally over. After weeks of speculation, weeks of new names being added to a string of possible suitors and weeks of trying to construe the signs to plot his next move, Nahki Wells married Huddersfield Town. It’s galling, him leaving for them, isn’t it? The £1.5 million plus clauses transfer fee is an arm’s length away from the multi-million pounds price tag we had already mentally spent. And it hurts. A bit, anyway.
   My overriding memory of the January Transfer Window comes from my brother, a Liverpool fan. A few years ago, when Torres’ Anfield future was in doubt, my brother camped out on the couch on deadline day, a Liverpool scarf draped around his shoulder as Sky Sports flashed between links from reporters and stills of the Spanish forward. With no real affinity to Liverpool, I was bundled upstairs at bedtime, but my brother was allowed to stay up late that night to watch the climax of the whole thing as the ominous deadline crept into view.
   I woke up in the morning to find the word ‘legend’ scrawled across his Torres poster. Two weeks later, it had been torn to the floor and the word “traitor” scribbled over it.
   Thanks to a few weeks of mental preparation, I’ve managed to avoid such dramatic… pain. I was ready for Wells’ departure. And, yes, it’s sad to know he’s leapt that side of the border, but it doesn’t erase two years of incredible memories.
   Which means it’s now time to delve into my hastily compiled list of boyband break-up clichés (it somehow feels… apt?). Here we go…

Break-up cliché number one: it was fun while it lasted

And it was, wasn’t it? Remember that surge of excitement when Nahki was first introduced? When he confirmed his arrival with that spectacular blast from the halfway line against Rochdale? What about that goal against Aston Villa? Burton away? Wembley? The best tribute to Nahki is himself and what he’s achieved: only by looking back on what he did, when he did it and how, can we truly get an idea of what a player and what an asset he was for us. He sniffed out chances others had deemed futile, and fired home from the most obtuse and acute angles going. He was one of our own, plucked from obscurity by our scouts, someone’s progress for us to chart and revel in and applaud and chant about. What sets this transfer window apart from any other is that Bradford had something, someone, a commodity, that seemingly everybody wanted – it was refreshing to be in that position. Everyone at school knew the name of a Bradford City player. Before Wells, that had never happened to me.

Break-up cliché number two: you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone

Nahki Wells was the first ever protégée I saw at City. He was the first player that made my school friends sit up and take notice of the Bantams. Before last season, he was the first player I ever earmarked as capable of playing in a higher division. We’re all going to miss him. He was significant to the entire team, but we’ll never really know of his true significance until we see the team functioning properly without him.
   Will someone weave in and out of defences to latch onto Hanson’s knockdowns? Will we ditch the long-ball stuff? Or - perish the thought - will we look lost without Wells? Reassuringly, I strongly believe that, given the months of substantial forewarnings that have flashed about, Parkinson and co. will have had targets in mind, but there will undoubtedly be a period of carryover as the team adapt to incorporate this new player and a new strike partnership is forged. Whether it’s Connell, Gray, Clarkson, McBurnie or a loanee, we can’t expect them to hit such dizzying heights straight away. It’s going to take time.

Break-up cliché number three: did it have to end this way?

Why them? Leeds would have been bad enough, but you could have understood because they actually look like they’re going places every year. But Huddersfield? I think we’re a bigger club, actually. Our ground is far more imposing – the most enticing thing about the Galpharm is that it sports a lovely backdrop of green-veined foliage and tall fir trees that resemble something out of The Chronicles of Narnia. And the price was hardly the eye-watering figure we’d set our sights on. It’ll draw jeers from some corners because Huddersfield really have got themselves a bargain, but we have to move on now. What’s done is done.
   Our club calendar now holds a degree of notoriety among the Terriers faithful, a fact that hovers somewhere between humorous and humiliating. Still, it’s not as embarrassing as the time Bradford plastered a Hull player on the front.

Break-up cliché number four: there are plenty more fish in the sea

Sure, Nahki was a rare talent. I’d never seen anyone like him, and the sheer dichotomy between his gift and the direness of some other players was too far-fetched to contemplate. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other Nahkis, or youngsters in the Nahki mould. We’re great at unearthing talent and we’ll do it again. What’s worrying is that we seem to have an inability to function without Hanson and Wells, and our whole system appeared geared up towards the target man creating things for the Bermudan. Nonetheless, we should view this as an opportunity to rectify the long-ball element of our game. There are other young talents to integrate into our system. They’re rare, but it doesn’t mean they’re not out there.
   Nahki Wells is proof such gems do exist.