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15 May 2024



15 May 2024

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Jamie Walker extended his stay at the Bantams by seeing a one-year option on his contract triggered by the club on Wednesday

We caught up with the Scottish midfielder who discussed his delight at seeing his spell at the club taken into the 2024/25 season.

Q: Jamie, here for another year. How does that feel, first and foremost, to have had the option triggered?

J: Yeah, I'm delighted to be here for another year and I think personally last season I ended the season quite well. I'm delighted to be here for another year and I'm looking forward to getting back to pre-season and getting going again.

Q: It's a club that, having not been here all too long, you have built up in that time quite an affinity with and quite an affection with, on and off the field. How important was it for you in that sense to have ensured that you're staying here next season?

J: Yeah, I think there's no getting away from that. I've enjoyed being here. I enjoy the big crowds, the matches, they feel of playing at a proper football club. So, yeah, as I said before, I'm delighted to be here for another year. It's one I'm looking forward to.

Q: Maybe not as many minutes as you would have liked last season. Does that make you a little bit hungrier? It was a similar case the season before as well in terms of getting injuries that maybe on another occasion you might not have been able to help. But does that almost make you feel going into next season that you know that if you can stay fit for a full season then you can have that influence that you want to?

J: Yeah, I think from a personal point of view, my numbers this season, goals and assists wise wasn't too bad. As you just said, I'd probably liked to have played more games, so hopefully this season I can get a full season and really help the team.

Q: In terms of the impact that you've had at the club, on and off the field, you live in the local area, your family really enjoy this club, your son goes to the local school, all that kind of stuff that plays into it off the field. How important is that for you on the field in again, fuelling what you do, fuelling how the fans feel about you and how you feel about them and your whole experience of this club so far?

J: Yeah, I think it's massive and I think, as you just said, my family have settled away from football, so I think that's a big part of being successful on the pitch. So, as you said, I'm always open to doing stuff in the community. My family are settled, and I really enjoy playing for this football club here.

Q: You obviously ended the season really well. A couple of goals, a couple of assists in your final few games. Again, in terms of the confidence that that gives you heading into next season, both from an individual point of view and from the team's point of view - where we won the final five games of the season unbeaten in the final seven - there's not much more of a high to enter next season in, is there?

J: Not really. I think personally and collectively we finished the season really well. I scored a few goals and most importantly the team was winning. So, I think the way that the gaffer wants to do it, the formation that we played the last four or five games will be how we start next season. So, I think the foundations are there for everyone and hopefully we can go on and have a successful season.

Q: Being a part of successful teams before, promotion-winning teams, all that kind of stuff, do you almost look at the situation that we're in now - in this transitional sort of season to season, off-season, pre-season period, with way that we ended last season and the spells of form that we had while you were fit last season since the manager came in as well - and draw similarities, draw comparisons and think, 'yeah, we're not too far away in certain elements here'?

J: Yeah, definitely. I think with the gaffer coming in, of course, it's been a bit of a roller coaster. Some good performances, some not so good performances, some good runs and some not so good runs. But I think I've said that a lot when I've done press before. You know, the way the gaffer wants to work is a lot of focus on hard work and I think at this level, if you put in hard work and with the quality that we have in the group, then we can really give it a good push next season.

Q: It probably helps you in a way as well that you're hardened to the fact that you've worked with a couple of different managers here, been through different spells of form, bad times, good times, times where you've personally been playing well and on good form, times where you've been on the sidelines injured. It probably puts a lot of things into perspective for you on and off the field and gives you that hope and that confidence and really more than anything, that determination that next season we want to make it a successful one?

J: Yeah, I think for me, I have nothing but praise for the manager. I think since he came in, obviously before my leg break and after my leg break it was probably the most consistent I'd really played in a long time. So as I said before, hopefully a full season injury free and we can really give it a good go.

Q: Pre-season just around the corner. How are you preparing?

J: I've not been on holiday yet, so I'm going to go on holiday, but I was in the gym today. I think nowadays there's not as much break as you like. I think people just keep doing their own bits and bobs throughout the off-season, so I'll be no different. I'm trying to keep fit. I know that the gaffer's very big on lads being fit and ready to go, so I'll make sure I am when pre-season comes around.

Q: Do you almost revel in that sort of challenge as well? You know the manager will be testing you in pre-season. You know it's going to be a tricky period physically and getting preparations right for next season, but ensuring that you're ready to come back for pre-season, ready to hit the ground running, ready to get going next season, do you almost revel in that challenge and making sure that everything is done as well as possible on your side to ensure that we're successful?

J: Yeah, I think every lad's the same. You need to stay professional in the off-season. Of course, you'll have a couple of weeks off, relax for a little, but pre-season comes around quick. As I just said before, I think the gaffer is massive on fitness and stuff like that. So, I think we'll go into pre-season and the lads will be fit and the ones that aren't, the gaffer will get them fit. So, yeah, everyone will be looking forward to it and hopefully we can have a successful pre-season and take that into the season.

Q: It seems to be a really good camp in terms of the dressing room as well, in terms of the players. There's a lot of lads with a really good bond and a really special connection keeping in touch in the off-season, all that kind of thing. How much are you looking forward to being back in that dressing room already now and being around the lads again, getting ready for the season ahead?

J: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I think, you know, it's probably one of the most enjoyable parts of being a footballer in the dressing room and around the training ground with the lads, you know, it's obviously always a good laugh and I think the pre-season trip will be similar. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to getting back in and I'm looking forward to getting back to work.

Q: Finally, over 13,500 season tickets sold already for next season. The support I know you've mentioned has been incredible from your point of view since you signed for the club two and a half years ago, but have you got a final message for those supporters ahead of pre-season, ahead of next season - again, one we hope will be a success?

J: Just a 'thank you' really, for their support, especially personally. The support they've shown me and my family on the pitch and off the pitch, since I came here, has been nothing short of remarkable. So, obviously, I thank you for that. The season tickets again has been a massive uptake, so we're delighted with that and I'm hoping that we can bring them a little bit of success next year.

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