Bradford Bulls scrum half Gale fears former club are close to collapse (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Bulls scrum half Luke Gale fears former club are close to collapse
Grave doubts surround the future of London Broncos as they near the end of a season which could well be their last in Super League.
With their Twickenham lease due to expire and owner David Hughes apparently unwilling to bankroll their losses any longer, the capital club are believed to be on the verge of collapse.
Many of London’s players are thought to have secured deals elsewhere for next season as the club prepare to drop out of the top flight.
Luke Gale, who made his Super League name at the Stoop with a three-year spell between 2009 and 2011, admits he is concerned at the Broncos’ plight as he prepares to face his former employers tomorrow afternoon.
“I’ve heard a few rumours about quite a few players leaving at the end of the year, so I’m not sure how much of a squad they will have left,” said the Bulls scrum half.
“As a club they keep trying to succeed but it never seems to take off. The crowds were always low but the amateur game in London is meant to be unbelievable right now.
“Apparently Hemel Stags have 18 teams in different age groups, so there are kids playing the game down there at grass-roots level.
“You look at the likes of Kieran Dixon and Dan Sarginson having come through the ranks at London, so they are producing players. The problem is that as soon as they start making the grade, they move elsewhere.”
Gale enjoyed his time as a London player after being signed by Brian McDermott from Doncaster.
The former Leeds academy player said: “It helped me to become a Super League player. Brian Mac took me down there from Doncaster and it set me on the right path.
“It would be sad if they went out of Super League and I sincerely hope they don’t. I always enjoy going down to London and playing. They can be a tough outfit and if we take them for granted, they could turn us over.”
The Bulls are particularly keen to record victory this weekend for a number of reasons.
It is their first outing since the defeat at Castleford confirmed the club would miss out on play-off football for the fifth year in succession.
Tomorrow will also mark one year to the day since Omar Khan became Bulls owner.
Then there is the small matter of exacting revenge for the Challenge Cup fifth-round exit at the Stoop in May.
That 25-16 reverse to a team who look certain to finish bottom of the league left Gale to admit: “That was definitely the low point of the season.
“We were really poor with our kick-chase and our attitude probably wasn’t the best. We definitely owe them one and have spoken about that this week.”
Gale, who has endured an injury-disrupted campaign but still shown glimpses of his best form, says the Bulls must start sticking to the game-plan for the full 80 minutes.
He said: “We’ve been going 70 minutes and then we’ll do something stupid which is our own fault. Yes, we’ve picked up a few injuries but no-one talks about that because it’s not an excuse.
“You could name five or six games where it has just slipped through our fingers. With a bit more composure from everyone on the field, we would probably have the points to be seventh or sixth in the table.
“It’s disappointing but we’ll be working doubly hard to try and put things right next year.”
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