21-year-old Imps man heads back to National League side

The Imps versatile youngster Alex Bradley has gone back to Harrogate Town to help their push for a place in the Football League, as reported by the Harrogate Advertiser.

The 21-year-old has yet to appear for the Imps in a competitive fixture, but he has impressed at Weatherby Road with four goals in 24 outings. That helped push Simon Weaver’s team into second place, which secured them a play off spot. They’ll meet the winner of the Boreham Wood and Halifax tie, looking to secure a place at Wembley.

They’ll be boosted by the return of Bradley, who is contracted to the Imps for next season. The midfielder, who is eligible to represent Finland, joined us after his release from West Brom after impressing on trial. He has previously appeared in League One for Burton Albion and could have a future at the club next season, given his extensive senior experience. That experience will be helped by playing in a high-pressure game such as a play off final.

“Alex filled in at right-back as well as playing in the centre of midfield and performed very well in both positions,” said Weaver of the player’s return. He’s joined by Sunderland winger Jack Diamond, in what Weaver believes is a huge boost for his side.

“It’s good to have them back. They haven’t been in with their parent clubs, but they’ve obviously kept themselves ticking over this summer because they have both looked strong in training.”

Weaver has previously sung the player’s praises in an interview with Lincolnshire Live, claiming he is on a learning curve.

“He’s done well,” Weaver told Lincolnshire Live. “He’s a talented lad. He’s got two good feet, is a good size and is very athletic. There have been some games where he’s really stamped his authority, both in central midfield and at right-back.”

Bradley is a central midfielder by trade, but spent a portion of his time filling in at right-back, something Weaver claims he did very well.

“We were short one Saturday because of illness in the camp and had to put him at right-back and he had a really good spell. He had over 10 games there. Even when the player who had been first-choice right-back became available, we were in a winning run so there was no need to change it. He was an integral part of that run.”

Finally, the veteran of City’s 2003 play off final admitted Bradley was growing in stature as a player, something sure to aid their promotion dream.

“There’s been learning curves along the way as well, he would admit that himself, but he’s grown in stature with the game time he’s had.”

The fact Alex is back at Weatherby Road is a good thing for us; it is more game time for him and a chance for MA to watch him in action too. Although it is likely he’s on the ball with the loan players, seeing one of ours involved in the semi-finals (and hopefully the final) is a real plus. It will stand the youngster in good stead for a possible foray into our first-team squad next season.