Speight Sent Up
Ahh, Pre-Season. A time for cathartic blood-letting. Out with the old, in with the new and all that. After a collection of pretty miserable post-boom seasons, those were the feelings that would have dominated the minds of most Bradford City supporters over the past few weeks as their club looks to build on a half-promising end to last season. Having already secured the signing of midfield veteran Tommy Doherty following an intriguing five month spell in Hungary, the club’s addition of striker Jake Speight, a former Sheffield United youth player who finally came of age at Mansfield last season, should have set pulses racing in West Yorkshire. With his former employers far from happy that their main goal threat had gone for a cut-price fee, Bantams fans could have been excused for embracing a little blind optimism.
Yet, just two weeks later, some of that cautious hope seems to have evaporated after it emerged that Speight is set for a 12 week prison sentence following his conviction for assault. Besides ruling the forward out for at least a few games, the jail term poses both a moral dilemma for City fans as well as a threat to the club’s fragile confidence. It’s claimed that the player and his agent clandestinely withheld information from both Bradford and Mansfield concerning the court case, but foul play must have been cried on more than one occasion by Bantams supporters, some of whom have also been curious about the gory details of Speight’s felony. As Boy From Brazil blogger Michael Wood writes, though, the only McCarthyism Bradford City fans should be interested in is Sean. Refreshingly witty stuff indeed from a fan who, along with all City supporters, will be hoping that the club can advance unscathed from this unfortunate episode.