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Club News


24 May 2024

Club News


24 May 2024

Sponsored by

Bradford City AFC is pleased to announce that academy trio Gabriel Wadsworth, Zac Hadi and Harry Ibbitson have signed their first professional contracts with the club.

The three academy graduates, all 18 years old, have put pen to paper on initial one-year contracts which will keep them at the University of Bradford Stadium for the 2024/25 season.

Striker Ibbitson enjoyed a sensational 2023/24 campaign, notching 31 goals in all competitions for the club’s under-19s side and winning the Neil Matthews Academy Player of the Year award at City’s End of Season Dinner.

A goalkeeper, Hadi has already had his fair share of senior involvement, acting as City’s third-choice goalkeeper behind Sam Walker and Colin Doyle throughout the second half of last season, while Heath Richardson was out on loan.

Midfielder Wadsworth, meanwhile, was offered professional terms last summer. He is the younger brother of Noah, who also featured regularly in City’s matchday squads towards the end of the campaign, making his debut against Harrogate Town on Saturday March 23.

On signing, Wadsworth (pictured above, left) said: “It is a privilege to have signed my first professional contract.

“I am a box-to-box midfielder. I am athletic and like to get around the pitch, with a good passing range and ability to get into positions to score.

“I am looking forward to the upcoming season and just need to make sure I continue to work hard.”

Hadi (above, centre) said: “It feels brilliant. It is something I have been working towards my whole life, and to do it at this club where I have been since I was nine years old means a lot.

“Being in and around the first team has been great as a player and a person, learning so much every day and being able to work with people like Sam Walker and Colin Doyle.

“I am injured at the moment but will be aiming to come back as fit as possible. I want to be involved in the first team as much I can this season, and hopefully make my debut.”

Ibbitson (above, right) said: “It is a brilliant feeling to sign a contract with the club I have come through at since I was 15 years old.

“It is important to have confidence and, after the season I have had, winning the Neil Matthews Academy Player of the Year Award and scoring the 31 goals, things are really positive.

“I am someone who likes scoring goals. I like the physical aspect of the game as well, and enjoy pressing from the front for the team to ensure we have the ball as much as possible.

“I will be coming back fit for pre-season and pushing to hopefully make my way into the first team next season.”

City’s head of academy, Mark Litherland, added: “All three players have shown really good potential this season, and we are looking forward to seeing their development continue.

“This is a big jump, so it is important for us to plan their pathway for the future and ensure when the first team call on them they are ready, and the supporters can see them wearing our shirt.

“The pathway is a huge selling point for our academy in terms of recruitment. If you can see players coming through our academy and playing for the first team, that is really encouraging - from under-8 level right the way up to the professional development phase.

“This is the outcome of the process; seeing lads in the first team doing well. We just want to see them continue to progress and develop.”

Zac Hadi will join the fellow men’s first team goalkeepers in being sponsored by Keybury Fire and Security for 2024/25. Harry Ibbitson will be sponsored by Kalcrest Care, and Gabe Wadsworth by Complete IT Systems.

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