How Dom’s mak­ing his mark at new club Brad­ford City

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Chris Hughes

DO­MINIC Poleon’s fly­ing start to life at Brad­ford City may have the for­ward dream­ing big – but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to an­nounce his goal tar­get to the world just yet.

Mak­ing a good first im­pres­sion is vi­tal in any new job and, with three goals in his first five games af­ter sign­ing from AFC Wim­ble­don for an undis­closed fee this sum­mer, the 24-year-old has done ex­actly that at Val­ley Pa­rade.

Poleon is al­ready well on his way to match­ing last sea­son’s tally of 13 strikes in all com­pe­ti­tions, a haul which helped the Dons fin­ish com­fort­ably in mid-ta­ble in their first-ever League One cam­paign.

When pushed, the for­mer Leeds man ad­mits that beat­ing that tar­get is one of his aims but, for the time be­ing, he is con­tent just to feel at home back in West York­shire.


“It’s been re­ally good so far. Set­tling in is one of the things you want to do as quickly as pos­si­ble,” said Poleon. “Get­ting used to how the team play and where you can fit in. I think I’ve been do­ing that.

“I’ve been scor­ing, too, and long may that con­tinue. It’s all about goals. That’s my per­sonal thing, but, as a striker, if I can­not score them, I have to make them.

“I’ve got some per­sonal tar­gets, but I’ll keep those to my­self ! Let’s just say it’s to get as many goals as pos­si­ble. I got 13 last year, which wasn’t too bad, but I want to bet­ter that this time around.

“Goals should help the club get wins. Every­body knows our aims and where we want to take the club – and we have to keep work­ing on that on the train­ing field.”

What Poleon is not coy about are Brad­ford’s am­bi­tions this term. It’s pro­mo­tion or bust for Stu­art McCall’s men, who were sixth head­ing into yes­ter­day’s game at early pace­set­ters Peter­bor­ough.

Last sea­son ended in heart­break for the Ban­tams when Steve Mori­son’s 85th-minute ef­fort in the League One play­off fi­nal sent Mill­wall into the Cham­pi­onship at their ex­pense.

And, as an out­sider com­ing into the squad, Poleon in­sists he can feel the mo­ti­vat­ing ef­fect that de­feat still has.

“There is a hunger,” he ad­mits. “It’s no se­cret it was a huge dis­ap­point­ment last year. To fall at the fi­nal hur­dle was a big blow.

“But, as a new player, you can see the group are in­cred­i­bly de­ter­mined to suc­ceed and not have a re­peat of that. We want to get pro­moted. There are no two ways about it.

“The play-off dis­ap­point­ment is at the fore­front of why we will do bet­ter this year.


“Be­ing at Wim­ble­don was good for me, it was one of the best sea­sons I’ve had.

“But I’m here now for a new chal­lenge.

“I want to get to the Cham­pi­onship and, on a per­sonal level, im­prove on last year. I’m keen to progress in my ca­reer and, when I spoke to the gaffer be­fore sign­ing here, his am­bi­tions matched mine. Hope­fully, we can reach those.”

Poleon wasn’t the only AFC Wim­ble­don star to make the move to Val­ley Pa­rade over the sum­mer, as 24-year-old mid­fielder Jake Reeves com­pleted his switch about a month af­ter the striker.

Manager McCall was a big rea­son why both men opted to trade south Lon­don for West York­shire. “The gaffer is straight-talk­ing, tells you how it is. He can be hard and fair but we can have a laugh and joke too,” added Poleon.

“When it’s time to work, we work hard, but there’s that sense that we’re all in it to­gether.

“You play un­der some man­agers who might not talk to you at all, but here the gaffer isn’t like that.

“He knows when to have a joke and when it’s se­ri­ous.”


NET VALUE: Brad­ford City’s Do­minic Poleon, right, in ac­tion against Black­burn and, in­set, boss Stu­art McCall EA­GER: Billy Knott

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