26-year-old defender Conor Branson has become Bradford (Park Avenue)’s fourth new addition of the summer.
The centre-back, who can also operate in central midfield, has featured as a trialist in all of Bradford’s pre-season friendlies and impressed Mark Bower enough to earn a permanent deal.
He began his career with Barnsley, captaining the club’s under-18 side and eventually earning a professional contract in 2010. Despite being named as a substitute in several Championship fixtures during the 2010/11 season, he was released by the Tykes in November 2011. A brief spell in non-league football with Guiseley followed and Branson also spent time with the Nike Academy before moving to the United States.
After arriving in America, he joined the Charleston Golden Eagles and shone enough to be named the Mountain East Conference’s ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ in 2014 and 2015. After leaving Charleston, he enjoyed trial spells with MLS sides DC United and Columbus Crew before being snapped up by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Branson left Pittsburgh after making 14 appearances to re-join the Charleston Golden Eagles as a coach, before continuing his coaching education with Marshall University during the 2017 season. He now holds a UEFA ‘B’ Licence.
He was described by former Barnsley coach Nick Daws as ‘a leader, talker and organiser’ and his leadership qualities will make him a key figure in the dressing room as well on the pitch.