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Jamie Foster keen to end Bradford Bulls season on high note
Disappointment was etched all over Jamie Foster’s face as he reflected on the Bulls’ defeat to Castleford last Sunday.
After the 46-34 reverse confirmed a fifth successive year with no play-off football, that was understandable.
It was not what Foster signed up for when he joined the Bulls on a one-year deal last November.
The former St Helens winger played for his home-town club in the 2010 and 2011 Grand Finals and helped Hull FC into the play-offs during a successful loan spell last season.
Twelve months on and with two rounds of the regular season still remaining, Bradford’s campaign is over.
“It’s very disappointing because as a professional sportsman you want to win every game that you compete in,” said Foster.
“I’m disappointed not to be there and I’m sure I’ll be watching every play-off game thinking ‘that was me in the last couple of years’.
“We set targets about where we want to be and we’re not a group of players who are going to go in half-hearted.
“We need to play tough in these last couple of games and not just throw the towel in.
“It’s certainly not a case of putting the cue on the rack and going out boozing.
“It just doesn’t work like that in professional sport because we would just get turned over in the last couple of weeks.
“We’ve got to look after ourselves and finish the season like Bradford Bulls deserves.”
Foster joined the Bulls on a one-year deal and then signed a two-year contract extension in May, keeping him at the club until the end of 2015.
He has every confidence that Francis Cummins, bolstered by several new signings, will make the Bulls a force to be reckoned with next season.
The 23-year-old explained: “Franny’s a great bloke and he protects us as players when we need it. He speaks very well and I buy into everything he says.
“I’ve got a lot of time for the bloke and I’m very grateful for everything he has done for me.
“We’ve clicked ever since I met him and there are a lot of other lads who have bought into the mentality he has instilled at the club.
“We all want to pull in the same direction because there is a desire to see him do well as well.
“I don’t like seeing him sitting there in the changing room after games giving us consolation speeches.
“I want him to be celebrating – but hopefully, if we invest our time wisely during the off-season, we’ll get some of that next year.”
Warrington prop Garreth Carvell and Huddersfield duo Luke George and Dale Ferguson will join the Bulls at the end of the season and Foster’s close pal and former St Helens team-mate Lee Gaskell is also expected to arrive.
Foster said: “I was over the moon when I read about the players we had signed. We’re not signing squad players any more – we’re signing match-winners and I think that’s a really big thing for us.
“It’s a statement from Omar Khan that he is willing to spend and I think we’re definitely going in the right direction. I can’t wait for next year.
“I genuinely believe in what we’re doing here and I’ve bought into what the club are trying to achieve.
“I think it’s only a matter of time before we start enjoying those games and hopefully achieve a few Grand Final wins.”
Foster has endured an injury-disrupted debut campaign but has impressed with his attitude and performances on the field.
He said: “I think I’m going in the right direction, although I’m by no means where I want to be. I’ve got a lot of improving to do but I think I’m in the right place to do that.
“I’ve got good people around me – good professionals, good coaching staff who put time in with me – and I’m willing to learn.
“I don’t look down my nose at anyone and think ‘I’ve played in these big games before’.
“I listen to everyone and I take things on board from Franny, who played wing himself. When you put the hours in, you usually get the rewards.”
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