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Match Previews


27 April 2024

Match Previews


27 April 2024

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The Bantams contest their final fixture of the regular Sky Bet League Two season this afternoon.

This week, in the build-up, Tom McDermott from the 'A Season with Bradford City' podcast caught up with captain Richie Smallwood, to discuss preparations and his thoughts ahead of what will be an emotional day at Valley Parade.

Richie Smallwood - on the final day game v Newport County:

I feel fine, pretty calm and relaxed. We’ve finished our final preparations so I always try to stay calm and ultimately I’m looking forward to what should be a good and emotional day at Valley Parade.

I think experience has taught me what’s required. If you’re a bit younger or it’s the first time you’re trying to make the play-off positions, that might be on your mind.

The last game of the season is always quite exciting. The fans come out, they used to back in the day wear the new kit, it’s usually a nice day, the weather is a bit better and it’s an opportunity for your family and friends to come along as well.

These occasions can become nervy but hopefully come kick-off we’re there and fighting for the goals and points we need.

RS - on his form this campaign:

As a player, I approach every game the same way and that means being in the best condition I can be in, and by giving my all.

For the job I do, I’m not the player with outstanding skills or perhaps one that catches the imagination of the fans but I do a particular job for the team.

It’s nice you know, when people say ‘oh you’re doing well at the minute’ but for me, I just try and be consistent each time I’m out on the pitch and I feel I’ve done that.

So yeah, I just keep it simple really. Give my all for the shirt, my team and supporters. I never feel I’m in bad form or outstanding form, but regularly play at seven out of ten.

Whatever club I’ve been at, I’ve played plenty of games throughout the season so that shows I can deliver what’s asked and when I haven’t been suspended, generally I’ve been a mainstay in the team.

RS - on Brad Halliday’s form: 

Yeah, he’s done really, really well. I was ecstatic for him because I didn’t even know he was in the league team of the year as well. I thought he was just going for a night away in London.

But of course, he’s really helped us drive further up the pitch and I think the change in formation was a positive thing for him.

I’ve known him for years, we’re both from Redcar, and he’s certainly dragged us through some games with his skill and energy. He’s also great in one-v-one situations. But he deserves all the accolades he’s getting at the minute. Fair play to him.

RS on media and social media:

It’s not something I really do. I did a little bit back in the day, looking at news and transfer news but no, especially with family and things off the field, it’s not something I really bother with.

I do get it though, it’s part of the game. You see the England players thanking fans and communicating and it has changed over the years so I understand the importance but no, it’s not for me.

RS on coaching and the future:

I don’t feel that’s going to be soon. I feel good physically and mentally. I have a young family so on weekdays it’s difficult to watch as many games as I might have previously. I love the game though and hopefully, I can share my knowledge in the future.

I’m doing my badges so I’d like to complete them this summer and gain more confidence on the pitch coaching-wise - but I’m still looking forward to a few more years of playing yet.

To secure your ticket for the encounter, please CLICK HERE, or to purchase an iFollow video match pass, please CLICK HERE.

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