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Brett Kearney proud to clock up 100 games as Bradford Bulls player
As Brett Kearney makes his 100th appearance for the Bulls tonight, he can reflect on a tumultuous four-and-half-year spell at the club.
Since arriving from Cronulla Sharks ahead of the 2010 campaign, he has twice experienced Bradford going into administration and been part of a team who have failed to make the play-offs for five successive seasons.
Against all that, the Australian full back has proved himself one of the best imports into Super League of recent times and certainly of great value to the Bulls.
“Have I ever been involved in such a chaotic 100 games? Definitely not,” said Kearney with a smile.
“It’s certainly been an indifferent last couple of years but the club itself is still the Bulls.
“They have a fantastic tradition and are world-renowned, so to play 100 games for them is a big achievement for me.
“So when I sit down and have a couple of beers at the end of my career, to say I’ve had 100 games for the Bradford Bulls is something I’ll be very proud of.”
Kearney’s value to the club is underlined by his 54 tries and 216 points in 99 appearances.
He is hoping the recent takeover of the club by Marc Green will bring much-needed stability after a stressful and long-running ownership saga.
Kearney said: “Once you’re away from here (Tong), you’d think you would be away from the Bulls for a bit when you’re at home.
“But then you would have to explain things that you don’t understand to your wife and phone calls from back home asking ‘is everything okay over there?’
“I would then just rattle off what I was getting told that day, which we had no idea whether it was real or not.
“It’s a big strain but I was lucky in myself in that I don’t have a mortgage or property over here.
“But there were three or four blokes who had just bought houses and as a club we were back in a place where we didn’t want to be.
“You could see the stress it caused these guys, but now the only stress we’ve got is winning our next game.
“To say that’s a good stress to have is weird but at least we’ve got that focus and players aren’t worried about mortgages or paying for things at school for their kids.
“We are focused on the one job at hand and that’s climbing the table.”
Kearney is out of contract at the end of the season and will look to decide his future in the next month.
The 30-year-old, his wife and their young daughter are settled here but if the unthinkable happens and the Bulls are relegated, a mass overhaul of the squad would ensue.
Asked where he saw himself playing next season, Kearney said: “I’m not sure yet. It’s not something I’ve rushed up until now but I won’t be leaving it too late either.
“It’ll be something I start thinking about towards the end of this month.
“I think I’ll definitely speak to the Bulls but it’s a hard one at the moment because if the team were to get relegated, then you sort of alienate yourself being a quota player.
“It’s a tough one to make a call too early on that but my job now is to make sure that’s not a worry. If we get enough points to avoid relegation, then it won’t be an issue.”
After five straight defeats, victory over Leeds tonight would be the perfect way to kickstart the fightback.
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