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Club News


6 November 2023

Club News


6 November 2023

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Bradford City AFC is delighted to announce the appointment of Graham Alexander as the club’s new men’s first-team manager.

The 52-year-old arrives at the University of Bradford Stadium on a deal until the end of the 2025/26 season, with former Bury boss Chris Lucketti appointed City’s new assistant manager.

He boasts a wealth of experience from similar managerial positions across the EFL - at MK Dons, Salford City, Scunthorpe United and Fleetwood Town - and in the Scottish Premiership with Motherwell.

With no less than 450 games managed, Alexander has two promotions on his CV, at Fleetwood and Salford. He took the Cod Army from League Two to League One via the play-offs in 2015, before reaching the 2016/17 League One Play-Offs with Scunthorpe.

Taking over Salford in 2018, the former Scotland international gained promotion to League Two with the Ammies at the first time of asking, before reaching the EFL Trophy Final in his second season in charge. Salford were fifth in League Two at the time of his departure later that year, having remained unbeaten over their opening five matches of the season.

During his time north of the border at Fir Park, Alexander led the Well to a fifth-placed finish in the Scottish top flight in 2021/22, which saw them qualify for the Europa Conference League the season after.

Having managed in Sky Bet League Two as recently as this season, he won the division’s manager of the month award for August 2023, after his MK Dons side took 12 points from their opening five games of the campaign.

As a player, Alexander amassed over 1,000 professional appearances across all four professional tiers of the English game, becoming only the second outfield player in English football history to have done so at the time.

On top of being capped on 40 occasions by his country between 2002 and 2009, the Coventry-born right-back won promotion to the Premier League with Burnley in 2009, and from the second division to the first division with Preston North End in 2000.

During his time at the Clarets, he became the oldest player to make a Premier League debut in August 2009, aged 37, and remains the fourth-oldest player to score in Premier League history.

On joining the Bantams, Alexander said: “It is really good to be here. I am very excited about the role, the potential of the team and the club.

“Me and Chris have been here quite a few times as a management duo competing against Bradford City, but it will be good to be on the right side, now.

“When the stadium is full and the crowd is behind the team, it is a really difficult venue to come and play at, so we have to make it a tough place for everyone else to visit.

“Joining a club, you have to look at the short-term improvements you can make, but also look at the potential of what you can do. Here, for me, that scope is endless.

“I am really excited for the weekend. You will not see me sat down in the dugout too much, as I will be up on my feet, but we know what this venue is like for a game of football, and we are looking forward to getting our supporters behind this team and bringing them excitement.”

City’s chief executive officer, Ryan Sparks, said: “After a lengthy period of recruitment where we have been able to carefully consider and complete vital due diligence on candidates, we are absolutely thrilled to have agreed terms with, and appointed, Graham as our new men’s first-team manager.

“I would like to thank Kevin McDonald, Mark Trueman and Matt Derbyshire for stepping up beyond the call of duty and allowing the club much-needed time to interview and assess several candidates.

“Graham’s record speaks for itself. He has managed successfully in three English divisions, and of course in the Scottish Premiership.

“Both him and his assistant Chris Lucketti impressed us greatly during the interview process, and it is clear we have a shared passion for Bradford City and success. The level of detail Graham provided throughout the process only confirmed his desire to take us forward this season and beyond.

“He has managed 450 games, winning 43% of them, and has achieved promotion from League Two in the past, while also achieving a play-off finish in League One.

“Graham is someone who has experienced many different challenges throughout his career, facing them all admirably and consistently improving several clubs’ positions.

“I would like to wish both him and Chris a warm welcome to our football club, and the very best of luck.”

Alexander will take charge of his first training session at the club’s Woodhouse Grove base tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, before being unveiled to the media in the afternoon. He will be sponsored by Collett, with Chris Lucketti sponsored by McDonald’s Shipley and Five Lane Ends

They take charge of their first game in the City dugout this weekend, when Barrow visit the University of Bradford Stadium (Saturday November 11, 3.00pm). CLICK HERE to secure your place. 

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