First one through the door!

Connell...Wilder's first signing

Connell…Wilder’s first signing

We’re up and running transfer wise as the Cobblers have confirmed the signing of striker Alan Connell from Bradford City on deal that sees us pick up his Bantams contract until the end of the season.

Connell had been linked to a return to Grimsby Town where he scored 25 goals in the 2010/11 season but has instead chosen Sixfields as his destination. It’s a very good start to Chris Wilder’s recruitment with an experienced goal scorer top of most fans’ must have lists coming into the final days of the transfer window.

The thirty year old started his career in the youth set up at Tottenham before moving to Ipswich Town where he never played a game. His first league appearances came with Bournemouth as Connell hit 7 goals in 14 games before a cruciate ligament injury kept him out for the rest of his debut season with the Cherries. He struggled to break back into the side in the following two campaigns and was sold to Torquay United in 2005 for £5,000.

After 7 goals in 22 games for the Devon club in a struggle of a season that saw the Gulls narrowly avoid relegation from the Football League Connell signed for Hereford United, scoring 10 goals in his only season with the Bulls. He then moved again, this time to Brentford, in 2007 and was a popular figure with Bees fans as he scored 12 times in his only full season. His next stop was a return to Bournemouth where he helped the Cherries back from a ten point deduction in his first season and to promotion (including the decisive goal to send them up) in his second.

In 2010 he signed for Grimsby and had that huge impact before joining Swindon a year later, scoring 11 times in 32 games for the Robins. He’s been with Bradford since signing from Swindon in 2012 and has hit 8 goals in 43 games in total as well as coming off the bench for the final five minutes of the playoff final against the Cobblers last May.

I’m pretty happy with this one…experienced and knows how to score a goal which is more than can be said of plenty who have tried so far this season. Crucially, he’s also here for long than a month! Connell seems to move around a fair bit but the favourable mentions from his other clubs point to a potential crowd favourite as well. It was the unfortunate (for him) form of Nahki Wells and James Hanson that kept him out of the Bradford side so that’s not exactly something to be ashamed of.

So there’s your first signing…keep ‘em coming boys!

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