Former Bury man Mark Litherland has been named as Bradford City’s new head of Academy.

Litherland moved to Gigg Lane in 2013, initially as the Shakers’ lead youth development phase coach before taking charge of the academy structure a few years later.

He was part of a set-up which brought through a number of young talents and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2018/19.

But the financial demise of the club, leading to their expulsion from the Football League, left Litherland needing to move on.

Litherland now succeeds Neil Matthews, who sadly passed away several months ago, in the role at Valley Parade.

“It feels great to be here. I have been welcomed by all the staff with open arms and am really enjoying it so far,” he told the club website.

“It is evident that the work of Neil Matthews, God bless his soul, and the rest of the staff has been top drawer to get the Academy to where it is today. That has been evident to me from day one.

“I just want to follow that on and build on it to improve us and help the Academy get better and better to the point where it is one of the best in the north of England.

“For me, an Academy is a family, and we want to be a really strong family because there are 91 other football clubs out there who want to beat us.

“The environment is key, and I can tell just by being in for four days that we are in a really good place. The players enjoy their work, and long may that continue.

“I have spoken to the manager and he is very keen on youth development, and from my point of view that is perfect. We want to be developing international players and Premier League players for the future.

“There is masses of experience already in the Academy, and I am looking forward to trying to make us the best category three side out there, and pushing on from that.”

Litherland has also held Academy roles at Bolton Wanderers and Rochdale in recent years.