WHEN Brett Ferres was pushing through the ranks at Odsal, the Bulls were in the midst of a golden era.
They marched to five successive Super League Grand Finals, won three of them, and led the way on and off the field.
Tomorrow they are set to be relegated from the top flight on what promises to be an emotionally fraught occasion.
While Steve Ferres will be sat in the directors’ box hoping for a Bradford victory, his nephew Brett could be sending them down.
“It’s obviously a sad state of affairs over at Odsal, and I’ve taken no pleasure in seeing it at all,” said the Huddersfield back-rower.
“I just hope that when their relegation is confirmed and they do go down, they can regroup, get some stability and come back stronger.
“They’ve now got the people running the club who I know will do a good job in getting the Bulls back on their feet. That obviously includes my uncle Steve who I speak to fairly regularly.
“He does send me cards every now and again – which all good uncles should – although there’s never any money in them!
“But that philosophy of keeping hold of your cash is probably just what Bradford need right now. That’s the key to re-building a successful Bradford club in the future.
“Unfortunately, what’s happened to Bradford is the nature of sport, and I can’t afford to show any sympathy towards them this weekend.
“I know as soon as I get out on the pitch tomorrow, the only thing I’ll be thinking about is helping the Giants to start winning again.”
Huddersfield are hurting badly after two heavy defeats at the hands of Salford and Castleford.
“We’ve not enjoyed these last couple of weeks and we’re all determined to do something about it,” said Ferres, whose side finished top of the table for the first time in 81 years last season.
“It’s up to us as a group to make sure the rot stops now and we find a way to get back to playing the sort of rugby that brought us so much success last season.
“We’re desperate to create a winning culture again, and when we start working together as a team we know that will happen. Hopefully, that’ll start this weekend.”
Ferres was forced to retire early with a knee injury during the win at Hull KR three weeks ago and he then suffered a cut head and rolled an ankle during last Friday’s defeat at Castleford.
The 28-year-old, who enjoyed an impressive World Cup campaign with England last autumn, said: “You know when you step onto the field that the opposition are going to try and whack you and hurt you, although on the flipside you’ll be trying to do exactly the same to them!
“I think this has been my time to get a few bumps and bruises but I’m fit and raring to go tomorrow.”
Ferres is among a sizeable Huddersfield contingent which includes coach Paul Anderson with Bradford links.
The Giants boss, one quarter of the 'Awesome Foursome', said: “I don’t think anyone in the game has taken any genuine pleasure in seeing what’s happened to Bradford.
“I’ve certainly not enjoyed it. I had eight fantastic years there and those memories will last with me forever.
“The Bulls were obviously a trailblazer at the start of Super League, and being a part of it was a great experience.
“But I can’t worry about Bradford at the moment because it’s all about Huddersfield Giants for me.
"They’re the ones who help me put food on my table and because we’ve not been playing well we need to start putting that right straight away.”