Brett Kearney set for Odsal swansong after five-year stay at Bradford Bulls

Brett Kearney set for Odsal swansong after five-year stay at Bradford Bulls

Brett Kearney will play his final match at Odsal this weekend

Brett Kearney in action during his time as a Bulls player

First published in Sport by

BRETT Kearney will run out at Odsal for the last time on Sunday when the Bulls host Widnes in the final home game of the season.

A tumultuous five-year chapter in his life is about to close.

The Bulls star, his wife and their two young daughters are heading home to Australia at the end of the season.

"It'll definitely be an emotional one," said the 30-year-old full back.

"I've got my dad flying over as he usually attends the last game and I'll have my girls run out with me as well. Hopefully I can finish in the right way."

Kearney's wife Ashley gave birth to their second girl last month and the family will soon be Sydney-bound.

"I'd be lieing if I said the birth of my second girl didn't play a major role in the decision to head home," said Kearney.

"My eldest daughter is really missing family back home and Skype can only do so much. She's talking about going to the beach and all that sort of stuff.

"A big part of the decision was based on where we want to bring our children up – and that's back in Australia."

Kearney is exploring the possibility of playing part-time and is also considering work opportunities.

"Nothing is set in stone at the moment but I've spoken to a club back home about playing part-time," he explained.

"I've said I can't commit to anything because I don't know what I'll be doing for work.

"I've told my agent to speak to the NRL clubs around Sydney because if I'm going home to be with family, there is no point going to North Queensland.

"Then again, if an opportunity came up that was too good to refuse, I'd consider it because I still think I've got it in me to be playing in the NRL.

"At the moment it's about getting the family back home and settled, then see what happens from there.

"Unfortunately I came through as a player just before the massive money and before the youth education programmes, which are now very big in the NRL, kicked in.

"It's a massive thing for a rugby league player and I was a bit unfortunate to miss that.

"That was a bit my own fault too. I always thought 'rugby league is what I want to do and I'll think about the rest later'. Now later has come, it's a case of do your best."

Kearney arrived at Bradford from Cronulla ahead of the 2010 campaign after being signed by Steve McNamara.

He has made 105 appearances and scored 54 tries for the Bulls in Super League and proved a resounding success on the field, even if life off it has been anything but plain sailing.

"It's a hard one to sum up but I've really enjoyed it over here for the most part," he said.

"Unfortunately, the few downs we've had at the Bulls over the past couple of years did take their toll.

"Now I see the place returning to an enjoyable environment and the young guys coming through are really enjoying what the club are doing for them.

"I've enjoyed the game, the team-mates I've played with and the coaches I've played under. I've met a lot of good people on and off the field and that will be something I'll remember forever."

The 2012 campaign, when the Bulls entered administration, saw their coaching team made redundant and missed out on the play-offs because they were docked six points, is a season that stands out for Kearney.

He recalls: "We should have made the semi-finals. Mick (Potter), Franny (Cummins) and Lee (St Hilaire) weren't employed but they just kept coming back.

"In the end we got dusted by Hull, which wasn't a shock because they were a professional team doing their thing whereas we were almost an amateur team.

"We were playing for each other but physically we weren't there because we couldn't put in the hours that were necessary.

"That was because we had guys needing to go to work after coaching the team.

"It's definitely a year I'll remember and I think when I tell the story when I'm older, it will be that we made the play-offs but they kicked us out!"

Despite everything, Kearney says he has learnt plenty from his five-year stay at Bradford.

He said: "The hard times off the field here have taught me a lot. I think that will hold me in good stead when I do retire and join the workforce, in whatever capacity that may be.

"I've had a lot of experience with a lot of different people which I probably wouldn't have had if it had just been an easy ride."

Comments (7)

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8:14am Thu 4 Sep 14

taurusthebull says...

Good luck to you Brett , its been a pleasure watching you at the Bulls,
.hope all goes well on your return home , you will always be part of the BULLS FAMILY . THANK YOU.
Good luck to you Brett , its been a pleasure watching you at the Bulls, .hope all goes well on your return home , you will always be part of the BULLS FAMILY . THANK YOU. taurusthebull
  • Score: 19

8:56am Thu 4 Sep 14

theviking62 says...

Thanks for the memories, Brett, you'll be long remembered at the Bulls. But your family come first, good luck, to you and yours in the future.
Thanks for the memories, Brett, you'll be long remembered at the Bulls. But your family come first, good luck, to you and yours in the future. theviking62
  • Score: 16

8:56am Thu 4 Sep 14

nosher says...

Good luck Bret you did good.
Good luck Bret you did good. nosher
  • Score: 11

9:37am Thu 4 Sep 14

raisemeup says...

Good luck Brett to you and your family. You have given much to our Club
and have been an exciting player to watch - feel sure you will soon have a position back home. We will miss you!
Good luck Brett to you and your family. You have given much to our Club and have been an exciting player to watch - feel sure you will soon have a position back home. We will miss you! raisemeup
  • Score: 14

12:30pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Pablo says...

Thanks for your efforts, Brett.

Having had the misfortune to venture into Bradford city centre this morning and witness the kind of individuals that populate the place, I wish I was going to Australia with you. Sound decision!
Thanks for your efforts, Brett. Having had the misfortune to venture into Bradford city centre this morning and witness the kind of individuals that populate the place, I wish I was going to Australia with you. Sound decision! Pablo
  • Score: 6

12:32pm Thu 4 Sep 14

myway! says...

All the Best Brett!
Up there as one of my favorite players to ever play for the Bulls.
Cant beat watching a player who is intelligent and knows the game inside out!
Fantastic player and hope he gets a club down under.
Good luck fella!
All the Best Brett! Up there as one of my favorite players to ever play for the Bulls. Cant beat watching a player who is intelligent and knows the game inside out! Fantastic player and hope he gets a club down under. Good luck fella! myway!
  • Score: 5

3:59pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Will, Huddersfield says...

Rated him highly. Ran the ball back well, great in the air and always on the end of a break. His display at Castleford last Sunday was typical of his general performance over the years. One of our better imports. All the best Brett for the future.
Rated him highly. Ran the ball back well, great in the air and always on the end of a break. His display at Castleford last Sunday was typical of his general performance over the years. One of our better imports. All the best Brett for the future. Will, Huddersfield
  • Score: 4
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