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Cup Final: Rival Watch

PUBLISHED

11:21 20th February 2013

. . . latest news from the Bradford camp ahead of Sunday's final

As the countdown continues ahead of Sunday’s Capital One Cup final at Wembley, we take a look at what’s happening in the Bradford City camp. 
Phil Parkinson’s side have already beaten the likes of Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa in this year’s competition, and are in their first final since winning the FA Cup in 1911.

They may be underdogs, but the city and fans believe

Bradford is not a city used to showing off, or a place that is comfortable with extravagant displays of emotion or self-celebration.
That is not, however, to doubt the passion that exists in this city and the excitement that is building to fever pitch in the only way it knows how. 
Jim Brennan, 71, stops to buy a Bradford City pin badge, to add to the three attached to his coat, ignoring the Phil Parkinson masks and Wembley T-shirts hanging alongside him.
"You won't see lots of banners, or flags or people shouting about it - it's not like that here," he told BBC Sport. 
"But there is excitement. I spoke to my bus driver this morning and he is driving 50 of his pals down to London in a coach. He tells me there will be 34,000 Bradford fans down there, even if they don't all get in. Now you can't tell me that isn't a city up for it, can you? We're proud. Very proud."
Meanwhile, councillor Dale Smith, Lord Mayor of Bradford and a season-ticket holder at Valley Parade, told the BBC: "There is an incredible buzz around the city - people are still scrambling to get their hands on tickets. No-one wants to miss out because it is going to be a magical day, whatever the outcome. 
"I have always called it brilliant Bradford and it is sparkling right now."

Bradford to commemorate Valley Parade disaster ahead of final

Bradford City are to commemorate the deaths of their supporters in the Valley Parade disaster ahead of Sunday’s Capital One Cup final against Swansea.
The players will step out at Wembley in tracksuits embroidered with the number ‘56’ – to remember the 56 supporters who lost their lives in the fire at the club’s ground in May 1985.
Feeling has grown at the League Two club that its descent into relative obscurity has prevented the tragedy being remembered outside of west Yorkshire.
“When I first came here, I quickly picked up there is a unique bond here in this city between the club and the supporters because of the tragedy,” said boss Phil Parkinson.
“I’ve had letters from people whose relatives died in the fire and I’ve spoken to people who were here on that day.
“The common theme is that this is the day to remember those people. We’ll make sure we do that and we want to do everything we possibly can.”

Ajax loss is Bradford’s gain

Nahki Wells will become the first Bermudan footballer to play in a major cup final in England on Sunday – but it could have been very different.
The Bradford striker has been one of the stars of this season’s competition, playing a pivotal role as the Bantams knocked out Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa to reach the Capital One Cup final.
But after a summer tour to Holland to face Dutch giants Ajax, a 12-year-old Wells was in high demand.
“They (Ajax) couldn’t believe his speed and skill. He was tremendous out there and outplayed their youth team by leaps and bounds,” said his former coach Scott Morton.
“Ajax wanted him to sign there and then but it was a big stretch for his parents to let him go. We’d only taken him over through the contacts we had – we didn’t expect them to want to keep him! 
“But it’s not surprising because he had that natural talent from an early age.” 

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