Kear hopeful Bradford-Keighley derby can show League 1 in good light

Bradford coach John Kear is hopeful their local derby with city rivals Keighley on Sunday can once again show off League 1 in a positive light.

The Bulls return to league action for the first time since their dramatic victory at York on the opening weekend, when a bumper crowd packed into Bootham Crescent to watch Bradford snatch a dramatic late victory.

Over 4,000 people are expected at Cougar Park on Sunday – and Kear is hoping the third-tier can be given further good exposure this weekend.

He said: “It’s a local derby, and there is some feeling between Keighley and Bradford – that’s well-documented. Any local derby brings with it a higher intensity, and that’s what we’ll get on Sunday.

“If we equal the crowd that went to York, and that’s packed into Cougar Park – which is a ground where the fans are on top of the players – that will create a high-intensity game. It shows League 1 in a good light, and there’s been lots of success stories even in the brief season so far.

“York can feel pleased with what they’ve done, there’s been some big signings and it bodes well for this season and for the future.”

Bradford, like they will for most games this season, start as favourites – but Kear says they will not be complacent.

“We’re going to respect the opposition and respect the competition, and we’ve looked at Keighley and ourselves, and we’ll turn out a very strong 19-man squad,” Kear said.

And Kear believes the intensity of the game at York will stand the Bulls in good stead for Sunday’s derby fixture against Craig Lingard’s Cougars.

“We’ve had a great practice for that,” he said. “We’ve only got to cast our minds back a month in going to York – where it was a cup final atmosphere and a game against high-quality opposition.

“We’ve just got to look back to that and it will stand us in good stead for this week: it’s going to be tough, because they’re a good team.”