RORY BOULDING has almost slipped in under the radar at Bradford City – and that's just the way he likes it.
The close-season signing of the younger member of the Boulding clan wasn't greeted with the same fanfare which followed the arrival of his big brother Michael – who fired 25 goals for relegated Mansfield last term.
But Rory, who is 12 years younger than his sibling, believes that's a positive thing with the pressure having been firmly kept away from his fledgling shoulders. And says all the talk of being in Michael's shadows does not bother him one bit.
The starlet – who has also joined from Mansfield – reckons he has the best of both worlds, with all the focus being on Michael as opposed to him, while having a familiar face around to make him feel at 'home' at his new club.
On his unheralded arrival at the Coral Windows Stadium alongside Boulding snr, the 20-year-old said: "It's been a good thing really.
All the attention has been on him and it's enabled me to concentrate purely on football and I've got on with that and it's made it easier to settle in.
"We're really close and do everything together, while we also live with each other and it's great to have him around in that respect."
And while the pair may be peas from a pod off the pitch, the younger Boulding insists there are differences in footballing sense – if you look hard enough!
He added: "We're both quite similar. We're both quite fast and play on the shoulder of defenders really.
"But I'm bigger than Mick and probably my hold-up play and flick-ons come into it a bit more."
Having been part of a desperate and ultimately unsuccessful relegation scrap at Field Mill last term, Boulding knows which League One scenario he infinitely prefers, after joining promotion favourites City.
He got his first taste of the big-crowd atmosphere at his prospective new employers last March, having been on the bench during the Stags' surprise 2-1 win over the Bantams in BD8, and the impression made that day was a lasting one.
And the rookie striker readily admits he is pinching himself at coming to such a big club.
He said: "I knew about the big crowds before that day, but didn't realise about the stuff going on behind the scenes – it's such a big club in that way as well.
"It's fantastic to be at a club which has such big ambitions in going for promotion rather than being at one which is just trying to survive.
"Everyone has been quality as well. It's a fantastic club to be at. I'm really enjoying training and getting on with everyone.
"I had a few options at Mansfield. Because I'm under 23, Mansfield were entitled to compensation, although they wanted to keep me. But I said to them I wanted to stay in the league and Bradford was perfect.
"Obviously it'd be brilliant if things snowballed and we ran away with the league, but we're just thinking about things game by game."Obviously, the management are thinking about the overall picture quietly to themselves.
"There's pressure, but a different type of pressure to Mansfield. I'm not at a team that is looking over their shoulders all the time and I'm at a club which is looking to the top, which is brilliant.
"It's nice to see how many points you are off the top, rather than the bottom!"
City fans got their first glimpse of Boulding junior in the 0-0 draw at Field Mill last December – when he scored a disallowed goal and was brought down by David Wetherall for a penalty, promptly missed by big brother Michael.
The young gun's performance wasn't lost on City boss Stuart McCall, who has brought him in as a "work in progress" on a two-year-deal with a mission brief of keeping City's' established striking pool of Peter Thorne, Boulding senior, Barry Conlon and Willy Topp on their toes.
But one thing Boulding won't be caught doing is aiming low, especially with the likes of his free-scoring brother and another predatory striker in Thorne around to aid his development.
Boulding – who found the net in the Bantams' 2-1 loss to Rotherham in their Central League opener on Tuesday – said: "I'm not thinking about anyone else, I'm just giving it everything I've got and doing the best I can and getting a few goals for the first-team and learning all the time working under the quality players and management here.
"Me and Mick do finishing practice every day after training and Thorney's been quality as well.
"He's a really nice guy and if ever I want to talk to him, he's always there and it's easy to get on with him.
"The gaffer's also been fantastic. He's not a ranter or raver. If he thinks you are not dong something right he'll just say in a way that you understand and he simplifies things.
"It's great working with him."