Big club the only place to be for Bradford Bulls new boy Gaskell (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Big club the only place to be for Bradford Bulls new boy Lee Gaskell
Lee Gaskell might have been expected to follow his successful loan spell at Salford with a permanent move at the end of this season.
Brian Noble is a confirmed admirer of the stand-off, who arrived on loan from St Helens in March after falling down the pecking order at Langtree Park.
Reds owner Marwan Koukash has similarly made his feelings known.
“I’ve been getting some positive feedback from Nobby and he’s told me I’ve been putting in some good performances,” said Gaskell, who has scored eight tries for Salford this season, including a hat-trick at London Broncos.
“Koukash has also been texting me to say I’ve been playing well.”
Gaskell’s contract at Saints expires at the end of this year and Salford, along with a number of other clubs, were keen to sign him.
With the amount of money that Koukash is willing to spend on players, did Gaskell not fancy being part of the apparent revolution unfolding at Salford?
“Not really,” said the imposing 22-year-old, who has the coveted knack of breaking the line to send team-mates over or score himself.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Salford and Nobby wanted me to stay but when Bradford came in I knew I wanted to go there because they’re a bigger club.
“Obviously Salford look like they’re going forward but when I spoke to Francis Cummins he told me his plans and I was happy with what he said.
“Bradford are going in the right direction and they have a great history. Hopefully I can help to bring the good times back.”
A ringing endorsement from ex-St Helens team-mate Jamie Foster convinced Gaskell he was making the right move.
“Jamie has told me only good things about Bradford, so I’m looking forward to being reunited with him,” said Gaskell, who played with Foster in Saints’ 2011 Grand Final defeat to Leeds.
“He’s enjoying his rugby a lot more, seems very comfortable in his surroundings and gets on with everyone at the club, which is what you need if you’re going to enjoy it.”
The ambition of Cummins, the impressive recruitment drive which has harvested the acquisition of Garreth Carvell, Dale Ferguson, Luke George and Matty Blythe, plus a number of re-signings, left Gaskell believing that Bradford was the place for him.
He said: “They’ve signed some good players haven’t they? A lot of players have signed on again as well, which is even better, so they have that core there to make it a really good season next year.
“I had quite a number of clubs who were interested but once I had spoken to Franny, I just wanted to come to Bradford.
“He’s young himself and I’m sure he is learning a lot as he goes along. He’s only going to get better as a head coach, so it all bodes well for the club.
“I used to go to Odsal as a kid when I grew up supporting Saints.
“Bradford are a massive club and it wasn’t too long ago that they dominated the game with the likes of Robbie Hunter-Paul, Jamie Peacock and Stuart Fielden.
“Lesley Vainikolo was my favourite from that great Bulls side. I think everyone liked him.”
Gaskell, who says he has no qualms about ending his association at St Helens, is versatile and can play at full back or the centres – but stand-off is his favourite role.
“I’ve been playing well at full back for Salford but my main goal is to play stand-off for Bradford,” he said.
“I want to be playing consistently in the team and playing consistently well. I want to be in the team on merit and not just because other players are injured. I want to make sure that I’m playing regularly because I deserve it.”
Such competition for places bodes well for the Bulls as they bid to avoid a sixth successive year without play-off football in 2014.
Gaskell declared: “We should definitely be aiming for the play-offs and there is no reason why we can’t achieve it.”
Comments are closed on this article.