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First Team

Bradford Park Avenue: Club Connections

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Thu 22 Sep 2016
Posted in First Team

This Saturday sees the return of Vanarama National League North football after a short FA Cup break which provided the Shaymen with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Evo-Stik side Ashton Athletic.

The previous league game, away at Gainsborough Trinity, saw the Shaymen play out a disappointing 3-2 defeat with goals courtesy of Liam King and loan signing Alex Simmons. Bradford Park Avenue will become the latest visitors to the Shay this weekend as they bring some familiar faces along with them.

One man who will be fresh in the minds of Town fans is midfielder Nicky Wroe who joined Park Avenue in the summer of this year. Wroe initially joined Town on a season-long loan for the 2015/16 season from parent club, Notts County.

After a successful start to his loan spell, Wroe signed a permanent deal in January. Despite seeing the club relegated in May, Wroe went on to captain Town at Wembley as the Shaymen beat Grimsby Town to lift the FA Trophy.

However, his permanent deal wasn’t to last long as Wroe made the switch to The Avenue just two months later. This will be his first game back at the Shay since his move to the Horsfall Stadium.

Former Shayman Danny Schofield could also be making the trip back to the Shay for Saturday’s clash, just over a year after leaving Town for The Avenue.

Schofield, who spent ten years of his career at West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town, joined the Shaymen from Rotherham United in summer 2014 after loan spells at Accrington and Stockport.

He featured heavily in his one and only season in Halifax, making 34 appearances in the Conference and scoring just the one goal. Despite this regular spot in the starting 11, Schofield joined Bradford at the conclusion of the 2014/15 season.

His move to The Avenue saw him take on a player/coach role under the then management of Martin Drury due to his wealth of experience at Football League level. Schofield has since made 21 appearances for The Avenue due to focussing more on his coaching role.

Finally, another player currently on the ranks at Bradford is Paul Marshall, a midfielder who spent two separate spells as a Shayman. The first came in 2012 after signing from former League 2 outfit, Port Vale.

Marshall only spent seven months in Halifax before joining Stockport County in February 2013 where, again, he could only manage a short stay. He was released by The Hatters at the end of the season before re-signing with the Shaymen, who had just been promoted to the Conference National.

This time, Marshall spent two seasons at the Shay and made over 74 appearances in Town colours. His first season saw the club qualify for a place in the play-off semi-finals, although Town were knocked out by Cambridge United.

Marshall continued to be a key player in his second season with Town, making 42 appearances in all competitions. However, this was to be his final season in a Town shirt as he signed for The Avenue at the end of the season.

In contrast to his time as a Shayman, Marshall didn’t keep a firm place in the starting 11, making just 12 appearances in his first season at the Horsfall Stadium. This season, Marshall has not yet played a game so he may not be making a return to the Shay on Saturday afternoon.

There will be live updates of Saturday afternoon’s clash at the MBi Shay Stadium along with player and manager interviews available on the club website and Shaymen Player HD respectively.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist