STEVE Ferres believes the Bulls will have an ultra-competitive squad next season as they bid to make an immediate return to Super League.
Lee Gaskell, Dale Ferguson, Adam Sidlow and Tom Olbison have agreed deals to stay at Odsal while Dan Fleming, Jake Mullaney, Dave Petersen and Etu Uaisele will come on board as new recruits.
Managing director Ferres says the Bulls are aiming to give Jimmy Lowes a 30-strong squad for 2015 – and one that is effectively Super League standard.
Ferres said: “What we’re going to be able to do is put together a squad that has got competition throughout.
“There will be at least five props, at least five back-rowers, four strike centres who can also play on the wing in addition to wingers, half-backs and a full back who can rotate and cover at hooker.
“We’re going to have a squad with the ability to go through a season, injuries permitting, without additions.
“I think it’s fair to say we’re trying to put together a Super League squad that will play in the Championship.
“Jimmy will have his squad in place by October, which will give him the best opportunity to get the players as fit as they need to be – hopefully fitter than anyone else in the league.
“We’re conscious that we’ve got to go through a long season whereby we need to finish in the top four of the Championship and then push to get into Super League.
“Everything is mapped out and we’ve got a plan which we are working towards.”
Lowes' sizeable squad will be full-time as the Bulls begin their first campaign outside of the top flight for over 40 years.
Ferres added: “There will be 30 players in the squad – 24 frontline players and six junior players who are already on the club’s books or new signings.”
Ferres believes an air of positivity is building following two straight wins and last week’s ‘An Evening with the Bulls’ event at Cedar Court, which saw around a thousand supporters turn out.
“There were more people there than 80 per cent of the teams we’ll play next season command in crowds,” said Ferres.
“We’ve got to repay these fans by putting together the best possible team within the constraints of what we’ve got.
“I’ll keep reiterating, we’ve all got to work together to get to where we need to be. But there is certainly a feel-good factor building now.”
London Broncos continued their recruitment for next season yesterday by signing Wakefield full back Richard Mathers, 30, on a two-year deal.
"He will be one of the highest profile players in the Championship next season,” said Broncos coach Joey Grima.