Alex Gilliead returns to Bradford City
Above: Alex Gilliead last in action for his ‘new’ club Bradford City, back in 2018. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Derek Adams has revealed his sixth new addition to the Bradford City squad with the signing of Alex Gilliead, who returns to Valley Parade after a season and a half loan spell which ended in 2018.

The six foot tall right-winger spent last season with divisional rivals Scunthorpe United, making 44 appearances in a struggling Iron team that finished just one position above the dreaded relegation zone.

Gilliead is no stranger to West Yorkshire however, having already made 51 appearances for the Bantams during a season and a half long loan spell, which saw the 25-year old lose out in the Sky Bet League One play-off final.

The winger has also spent time in the Newcastle United academy, before turning out for Carlisle UnitedLuton TownShrewsbury Town and most recently Scunthorpe.

  • A familiar face

Other than Andy Cook, Gilliead is the only new signing to have not already represented the club. In fact, he’s now technically the only remaining player to have experienced the dark days of Edin Rahic’s reign, a time which saw the Bantams crumble within the space of two years, as the club went from the brink of the Chanpionship to finishing flat bottom of League One.

With that being said, Gilliead has experienced the highs and lows of being a Bradford player, and along with that has experiences that can really help keep the morale high in the dressing room. He’s also a player who fits the Adams agenda in wanting to play for the club, and understanding what winning means to the fans.

  • Much more mature

Upon joining the club, Gilliead expressed in an interview how he had matured as a player, telling the Bradford Telegraph & Argus

“I am over the moon to be back here. I have spoken to the manager and the rest of the staff, and it is an exciting project which is being built.

“The manager is a proven one at this level, having achieved what he has over the past few years, and what he had to say over the phone to me was very encouraging and exciting. I feel like I have grown up a lot as a player and as a person since my last spell here. I have a lot of different attributes now, and I want to show that to the supporters.”

This spells only excitement for Bradford fans, who will be eager to see a new, improved version of the winger.

  • A natural leader

Despite Scunthorpe’s dire season last year, Gilliead was one of the few players who earned the right to hold his head high, after a season leading the team forward.

There was a real lack of quality at the Iron, but Gilliead showed that he is a class above the bottom half of the table, scooping six end of the season awards and even being rewarded with the captains armband. He’s shown the qualities of a natural leader, and despite the presence of Richard O’Donnell and Paudie O’Connor, he offers a third option for leadership in the dressing room.

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