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City Complete Darby Deal

5 July 2012


City boss Phil Parkinson has continued to add to his ever-growing squad for next season by securing a deal to bring promising right back Stephen Darby to the Coral Windows Stadium.

Darby arrived at Valley Parade after completing his medical to put pen to paper on a two year deal with the Bantams, becoming Parkinson's seventh signing of the summer in the process.

Coming hot on the heels of the signing of Garry Thompson, Darby's decision to join City makes him the Bantams' fourth capture in less than a week.

The 23 year-old joins City on a free transfer after leaving Premier League giants Liverpool earlier this summer.

The Liverpool-born defender started his professional career with the Merseyside giants after coming through the ranks at Anfield.

Despite his strong Liverpool connections, Darby's most recent league action came during a season-long loan in League 1 with Rochdale last season.

Along with his time at Spotland, Darby has also enjoyed loan spells in League 1 with Notts County and Swindon Town in previous seasons.

Darby played 35 league games for Dale - playing alongside fellow City summer signing Gary Jones for the vast majority of them - during the 2011/2012 season. 

His 15 appearances for Swindon in the 2009/10 campaign and 23 during the following season for County means the defender has played over 70 games at third-tier level.

The defender also has two England Under 19 caps to his name.

Darby himself said: "Bradford is obviously a big club and the ambition of the manager really sold the place to me.

"Once I'd spoken to him, that really made my mind up to join here.

"This is the first club I've signed for permanently away from Liverpool so it really feels like a new chapter in my career for me.

"I'm really glad that I've signed for Bradford and I just hope we can have a long and successful season this season." Parkinson added: "Stephen is a good young defender with plenty of the right attributes to succeed with us.

"He is at the right age where he can still grow and improve with us, but still has plenty of league experience under his belt as well. He has played a number games at League 1 level throughout his career.

"Stephen is someone I have been aware of for quite a while. He first came to my attention when he played for Swindon against the Charlton side I was managing in the 2010 (League 1) Play-Offs.

"Our signing of Stephen is another example, I feel, of where our patience has paid off. He is a good right back who we feel can still get even better."

Darby played in the Liverpool F.A Youth Cup winning teams of 2006 and 2007 - skippering the 2006 side. On both occasions he played alongside former Bantams defender Robbie Threlfall.

He received his first senior call up for the Reds in December 2006 when he was named as an unused substitute for their Champions League fixture at Turkish side Galatasaray.

Darby would eventually make his bow in Europe's elite competition, however, playing against Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven in 2008 and Fiorentina a year later.

His appearances against Madrid and Eindhoven were from the bench, but he was handed a starting berth for the Fiorentina fixture.

Darby's date in Madrid was actually his senior debut for Liverpool, with his domestic bow coming a month later when he came on as a second half substitute at Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup. His Premier League debut also came against Spurs, that time as a late sub during a match at Anfield in January 2010.

Darby's final appearance for Liverpool came in July of the same year when he came off the bench to feature in the Reds' Europa League qualifier at Macedonian side ZFK Rabotnicki Kometal.

The right back also captained the reserves to the northen and national championships in the 2007/08 season during his Liverpool days.

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