- Wrexham wanted to play Bury
- But the Shakers will face Bradford instead
- Club set for emotional return to Gigg Lane
WHAT HAPPENED? Parkinson and Welsh go back a long way but the Bury boss has decided against taking on Wrexham in a pre-season friendly. Bury are preparing to play their first game at Gigg Lane since they were expelled from League One in 2019 amid a financial meltdown. It promises to be an emotional day for Bury, who will head home after agreeing a merger with AFC Bury, and Welsh decided he wanted to face Bradford City and not Wrexham in the friendly.
WHAT THEY SAID: "With me living in Bradford, I know it’s a fantastic club - and I nearly signed for them under Phil Parkinson. I went over to Valley Parade and met with him but it didn’t quite work out," he told the Telegraph and Argus. "But living in the city, I know it’s a sleeping giant and my initial thought was the opening game back at Gigg should be Bradford City because they will travel with big support. I needed that favour calling in. I dropped Ryan a message after the play-off game and the rest is history. Phil Parkinson was trying to get Wrexham over but I thought, ‘no, we want Bradford City’. They have supported it so well."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Wrexham are currently preparing for life in League Two - where Parkinson will face his former club Bradford - after their promotion last season but have already been warned not to get "too carried away" by last season's success by assistant coach Steve Parkin.
IN TWO PHOTOS:GettyGetty
WHAT NEXT? Bury will host Bradford in their friendly on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Red Dragons have some glamorous pre-season fixtures lined up in the United States. Parkinson's side are due to face Chelsea, LA Galaxy II, Manchester United and the Philadelphia Union later this month.