Bradford City: Luke O'Brien interview

Having cheered the Bantams from the stands as a youngster, Luke O'Brien is on course for an extra special late Christmas present with his 100th Bradford league game on Boxing Day.

However, the City ace was accustomed to yelling on the Bantams in England's top flight as a child and admits the immediate aim is to move them onwards and upwards out of League Two.

O'Brien, now 22, is in his fourth season with the Bantams – the club the Halifax-born star used to support as a boy.

The Yorkshireman always dreamed of pulling on the jersey of the side he followed and a decade on the left-back is nearing his 100th league game.

That milestone is likely to happen on Boxing Day when City take on Chesterfield and O'Brien admits to being proud and delighted to be notching up that century.

The 5ft 8ins star remains as proud as punch to be representing the Bantams but only hopes in the seasons to come his future outings for City can be in League One and beyond.

Speaking about his upcoming milestone, O'Brien told Yorkshire Sport: "I've now played about 111 or 112 in all competitions and this weekend against Crewe will have been 99 in the league.

"Chesterfield on Boxing Day could be my 100th league game so I'm happy.

"It's flown by because three years ago I wasn't even playing.

"Now I'm a first-team regular and I've played just over 110 games and coming up to 100 in the league.

"It could be an exciting Christmas present!

"I'm a Bradford fan and when they were in the Premier League in 1999-2000 I had a season ticket.

"I used to stand in the Kop and think that hopefully one day I would be on that pitch. Three years down the line I am in the first-team squad.

"Obviously our aim is to get promotion, it was at the beginning of the season, and it still is.

"My aim is for us to finish in the top three as I want to play in a higher league with Bradford City."

Before the season got under way, City's prospects of doing that looked

good with the Bantams installed as the bookmakers' favourites for the League Two crown.

As the festive period approaches, Peter Taylor's side are not even in the divison's play-offs and O'Brien admits the 2010-11 campaign has so far not met expectations.

However, the defensive ace has complete faith in manager Taylor and firmly believes a sharp improvement in fortunes is just around the corner.

"We did have a poor start to the season and then we had a little run together with four or five games where we went unbeaten," he said.

"That got us high on confidence but then we had the FA Cup game where we lost and then we lost two league games.

"We didn't do too well after that and then we had a break with the weather and we had a good win last weekend which we needed.

"You can look at the gaffer's past record and his promotions with other teams, but obviously it's a new challenge for him.

"He came here in February and he wanted to finish the season off and pick some of his own players in the summer and have a very good go for automatic promotion.

"We're not doing the best in the league, we are mid-table and while we are not far off the play-offs, we are not far away from the relegation zone.

"Hopefully we can all club together over Christmas and the new year and we will be looking good for promotion."

Few would take greater pleasure in securing promotion than O'Brien, the lifelong Bantams fan who is now fulfilling a dream in plying his trade for the team he supports.

The full-back remains a one-club man having joined the club's Centre of Excellence when he was eight-years old and is thrilled to now be a regular performer.

"I'm happy with the way things are going and I've been playing week-in, week-out which is a big thing," he said.

"I'm in my fourth year as a pro now and in my first year I didn't play at all.

"I had a little bit of competition before I came in last year and at the start of the season there was a lot of fuss made about who was going to start at left-back, and Robbie (Threlfall) got the shout above me.

"But I fought hard in training and did well in training and I've been in every game since, so I'm happy."

However, O'Brien admits that getting City back up the leagues is his number one goal and only hopes his 100th league game for Bradford can coincide with a move up the League Two ladder.

"The main thing is the team as well as it's a team game," he said.

"Christmas is a critical part of the season and hopefully we get up the table."

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