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McArdle back for the Bantams

17 October 2013

After making his competitive debut for Northern Ireland during the week, Bantams defender Rory McArdle will be back for City at the weekend as they take on Crawley Town in Sky Bet League 1.

McArdle was in training with the rest of Phil Parkinson's squad this Thursday following his involvement in Northern Ireland's creditable 1-1 draw with Israel in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.

The World Cup qualifier was McArdle's sixth appearance in total for Northern Ireland but his first in a competitive fixture having picked up his previous five caps in friendly matches.

The 26 year-old, who was also part of the Northern Ireland squad for their game in Azerbaijan last weekend, missed City's defeat at the hands of Tranmere Rovers as a result of his latest spell of international duty.

The defender is back in contention now, however, as City prepare to make the long journey south to Crawley's Stadium.

With Matt Taylor's current loan period at Colchester United still in place until after the weekend, McArdle will be up against Luke Oliver, Matthew Bates and Carl McHugh for a place in City's central defence.

City assistant Steve Parkin said: "Rory got a full game under his belt on Tuesday, which was great for him, and he comes back into the fold for us now.

"He's come back looking fit and well after his travels.

"He will be in contention for a place and be part of a strong squad that we will bring down to Crawley with us.

"It was a magnificent achievement for him to play in the match during the week and no more than he deserves.

"He has been patient when he's been in the squad a few times in the past and not played before.

"Fair play to Michael O'Neill (Northern Ireland manager) though, he has stuck him in and shown faith in him and I don't think he (Rory) let anyone down.

"I'm delighted for him and delighted for the club."

Despite making progress on the training pitch this week, Nahki Wells still isn't quite ready yet for a return to action this weekend and will therefore miss out once again.

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