sport

Duke reveals snowball fun

Matt Duke has revealed how a snowball fight played its part in securing Bradford's Capital One Cup semi-final success over Aston Villa.

The Bantams created history last night as they became the first fourth-tier team to reach a major cup final at Wembley, losing 2-1 on the night at Villa Park but progressing 4-3 on aggregate.

The West Yorkshire outfit, 3-1 to the good from the first leg thanks in large part to Duke's heroics, had seen their preparations for the crunch return leg severely hampered by the wintry weather sweeping the country.

City duly travelled to St George's Park to train on Monday but the team bus got stuck in the snow en route, leading to an innocent snowball fight among the players which relieved any of the pre-match pressure on the npower League Two squad.

Asked whether there were any omens to Bradford's semi-final triumph, Duke said last night: "I think a lot of the disruption yesterday if I'm honest.

"The preparation was all up in the air, we didn't know what was going to happen with the bad weather. We couldn't really train properly but we went to St George's Park (the Football Association's national football centre in Burton) to train.

"We meet the coach in Barlborough for some of the lads who travel and the coach driver pulls the coach in and it gets stuck, we're all off the coach pushing it and trying to get it out.

"We're all off the bus having a laugh, having a snowball fight. It was such an occasion that's massive and we could over tense - and we were having a laugh and a good time, that's testament to the staff.

"We're just a good set of lads who get on and we had a good time, playing with snowballs. Little things like that disrupt the preparation and I think it's quite good sometimes, it takes your mind of it."

Bradford will line up at Wembley on February 24 against either Swansea or Chelsea, with the Swans holding a 2-0 advantage heading into their semi-final second leg at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday night.