‘Everything’s fine’ as Blythe signs three-year Bradford Bulls deal (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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‘Everything’s fine’ as Matty Blythe signs three-year Bradford Bulls deal
Matty Blythe has put pen to paper on a three-year deal to become a permanent Bradford player and insisted he has no concerns over the club’s future.
The Warrington centre is on a season-long loan at the Provident Stadium and was under contract at the Wolves until the end of next season.
That will be replaced by a deal that will keep him at the Bulls until the end of 2016 in what represents another significant coup for Francis Cummins.
The Odsal coach has already signed Garreth Carvell, Dale Ferguson and Luke George for next term and yesterday admitted he is an admirer of St Helens stand-off Lee Gaskell, who is being heavily linked with a switch across the Pennines.
Blythe is confident about the Bulls’ future – despite the club’s players and staff having yet to be paid last month’s wages.
Deputy director Robbie Hunter-Paul addressed Cummins’ squad yesterday to alleviate their concerns and stress that monies to pay them would be in place by August 8.
Blythe, who signed his contract last week before the club hit the snag over wages, said: “As players we had questions that we needed answering, as you would if you don’t get paid.
“The club have answered those questions and we’re fine in terms of morale.
“After what happened here last year, the alarm bells started ringing that it could happen again, but everything’s fine.
“We’re laughing and joking and enjoying ourselves – and we have to because it’s a massive game this week at Wakefield.
“There are no ifs or buts – we need to win – and I’m really happy that I’ve got my future secure and I’m ready to kick on now.
“I think I’ve played well this year and Franny has rewarded me with a three-year deal.”
Blythe is happy that his future is now secured after agreeing with Wolves coach Tony Smith that a permanent move to Bradford was best for all concerned.
The 24-year-old enjoyed a blistering start to the season before being laid low by a back problem which sidelined him for several weeks.
He then picked up a knee injury in the recent defeat to Wigan but is hoping to be passed fit to face the Wildcats on Sunday.
Blythe, who has also performed well in the second row this season, said: “I spoke to Tony and we both came to the conclusion that I needed more rugby.
“I didn’t want to go back to Warrington and end up playing at a feeder club.
“I want to be playing Super League week in, week out and I wasn’t entirely guaranteed that next year at Warrington.
“Tony has been really good with me and we both came to the conclusion that I wanted to move on in my career.
“It’s my home-town club and Warrington will always be a part of me but I needed to make this permanent move for my career. I’m one hundred per cent happy I’ve done it.”
Cummins added: “I remember my first meeting with Blythey about how this was his time to become a senior professional and he has done that.
“He’s had a few injuries here and there but he’s shown that he can play the game and he has an influence around the club.
“That influence is only going to grow and he has shown that he’s a very good young man as well as a very good rugby league player.”
Despite the Bulls’ latest financial difficulties, Cummins said: “We’re having a rough time at the moment but signing Matty shows there is some good stuff going on here.
“He is someone who has been in the Warrington system but has been given a chance here and is enjoying it.
“The bigger picture is that Matty is an important part of this club and for him to agree three years is a huge thing. It shows you that players are willing to back the club.”
Cummins is also hoping to have Ben Evans – who, like Blythe, is on a season-long loan from Warrington – at Bradford again next year.
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