How have City managers fared in their first (official) game in charge?

With the David Hopkin era beginning at Blackpool on Saturday, here’s a brief look at how his more recent predecessors have fared during their first competitive match in charge of Bradford City. This list excludes caretaker reigns in charge.

Michael Collins
Won v Shrewsbury Town (A) 1-0

The Michael Collins era began in August with a much happier tone than how it abruptly came to an end after a matter of weeks. Jack Payne scored the only goal on the opening day of the season as City beat last season’s play-off finalists Shrewsbury. Unfortunately, however, Collins would win only one more game before being sacked.

Simon Grayson
Drew v Charlton Athletic (A) 1-1

When City turned to Simon Grayson, they had registered just four points from a possible 21, which ultimately resulted in the sacking of Stuart McCall. Grayson’s impact felt immediate, as City headed to then play-off rivals Charlton and earned a respectable draw, Tyrell Robinson scoring City’s goal.

Stuart McCall
Drew v Port Vale (H) 0-0

The second coming (as a manager) of Stuart McCall started in sombre fashion. The first official game of Edin Rahic and Stefan Rupp’s tenure in charge resulted in a 0-0 draw with Port Vale on the opening day of the 2016/17 season – though it was the start of a run which saw City begin the season unbeaten all the way through to mid-October.

Phil Parkinson
Drew v Morecambe (A) 1-1

The reign of arguably the greatest manager in City’s modern-day history began with a draw at Morecambe. Colin Cooper had overseen the 4-2 win at home to Barnet days earlier, and Parkinson’s tenure began with a goal from Ross Hannah, as City left the seaside with a point.

Peter Jackson
Lost v Gillingham (A) 0-2

The Peter Taylor reign had ended with a victory days earlier, and when City turned to legendary former captain Peter Jackson, they were still not mathematically assured of a place in the Football League the following season. Those fears were not helped by Jackson’s first game, a loss at Gillingham: though he stabilised City to help them survive with some ease.

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