Bradford City: Lee Bullock interview

Lee Bullock has copped his fair share of light-hearted banter from his Bradford City team-mates after being named club captain – but it's a price worth paying!

The affable Teessider couldn't be prouder after being thrust into the role by boss Peter Taylor, although he admits in an ideal world the circumstances would have been different.

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The midfield grafter was handed the role following the shock decision to strip Zesh Rehman of the position after his public criticism of Taylor and with the dust having now settled, he is busy familiarising himself with his new duties.

And in terms of deserving recipients, few would begrudge the accolade going to the 29-year-old and proverbial 'club man'.

Bullock, who showed his commitment to the City cause by accepting reduced terms to stay on in the summer of 2009, said: "It's a great honour to be able to represent Bradford in this way.

"It's something I'll have to learn about, but I'm going to put my all into it and look to enjoy it. It's unfortunate how it came about, but these things happen in any line of work – not just football.

"Obviously Zesh is a good team-mate of mine, but he stepped out of line and has been punished.

"I've taken it on – not the way you'd like to – but at the same time, it's a great honour and hopefully, I'll do a good job.

"The lads all have a laugh and what have you and take the mick of you for getting it and there's a bit of banter. But you just get on with it!"

He added: "I'm just about to hit that 30 barrier and it makes you realise you are starting to get older in your career. My career is going down the hill rather than up it, like all the young lads at this club.

"To get to be club captain at any level is great, but to have it at a club this size is brilliant and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in – hopefully sorting out the good stuff and not the bad side of it.

"We've got young lads at the club such as James Hanson, Dave Syers and Steve Williams and you can see them starting to become proper professionals and it's good to be looked on as someone who can help them and pass on experience.

"I've played with some decent (experienced) ones before such as Chris Fairclough and Steve Agnew and at Cardiff, we had people like Graham Kavanagh and Tony Vidmar. Obviously, at Bradford when I first came, there was Peter Thorne and David Wetherall and that was great as well."

The captaincy fillip couldn't have come at a better time for Bullock, who has started just one game in the league since early October, with the likes of Tommy Doherty, Tom Adeyemi, Dave Syers and Lee Hendrie currently ahead of him in the engine-room pecking order.

Bullock has been in the game long enough to appreciate that seasonal footballing fortunes can be cyclical and that his chance will arrive, with it being a question of grasping it with both hands when it comes along.

The ex-Hartlepool United and Cardiff City schemer, who initially headed to City on loan on New Year's Day 2008, said: "The last six weeks, pitch-wise, haven't been great personally.

"But I am at the age now where although you want to play – don't get me wrong you've just got to be ready when you are needed.

"Its swings and roundabouts and when you get in the team, you've got to do a job and make sure you book your place. I know when I get back my place, I've got to stay there.

"The reserve games have been wiped out recently, which isn't ideal. But it's about working hard in training and looking after yourself, so when you are called upon, you don't let yourself or anyone down."

Like countless other clubs across the country, the weather has proved a pain for City, with last week's long trip to Aldershot falling victim to the weather and several players experiencing difficulties getting too and from training.

That said, Taylor's troops have fared better than several divisional rivals, with the players having been able to keep ticking over at an indoor facility called Five A Live – based in the city – for the whole of last week and most of the current one, although the less said about some of the travel journeys, the better!

Bullock added: "It was quite hard at times last week. There's me and Rammers (Simon Ramsden) who live in the north east and then there's quite a big Manchester crew and other than that, everyone else is in and around Leeds and Bradford.

"Some were moaning and didn't get home (after training) until half past eight at night – and said they were stuck on the M62 all day.

"Some said it took them three hours to get back to Leeds!

"It's been like an unofficial winter break and we seem to get them every season anyway. We always seem to get a couple of weeks called off when the weather is terrible.

"But the majority of people are back fit, apart from the long-term victims and it gives you the chance to do plenty of running and work in the gym which you wouldn't normally do if you had Tuesday-Saturday games. It's been like a mini pre-season."

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