This weekend, the Shaymen return to league action following a comfortable passage to the next round of the FA Cup last time out. Cue a local derby against a Bradford Park Avenue side with a point to prove having lost all of their previous eight league outings. Anything can happen in a neighbours’ clash, and one-man Billy Heath’s men will have to be wary of at the Shay on Saturday is former Bradford City midfielder Luke Dean.
Born in Cleckheaton, Dean was first picked up by the Bantams in 2002 to join their academy setup. Having risen through the ranks over a period of seven years, even making a solitary league appearance for the Shaymen on loan in 2009, he made his first team debut for Bradford against Morecambe in April 2010, subsequently signing a professional deal that summer.
Further loan spells with Ossett Town and Hinckley United followed, before signing for Harrogate Town in a loan deal which would eventually become a permanent contract after being released at Valley Parade in 2012. Dean played two spells for Harrogate, gaining experience at this level of football, with short-term deals at Workington and Park Avenue sandwiched in between as he looked for regular playing time. Having returned to Park Avenue in 2015, he looks to have settled down in a tough start to the campaign for his team and notably scored both goals in a 3-2 defeat to his former side Harrogate in August. The midfield man will definitely be eager to try and notch against the side who took him on loan as a youngster seven years ago.
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