Bradford Bulls coach Cummins issues his annual report after 12 months in the hot-seat (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Bulls coach Francis Cummins issues his annual report after 12 months in the hot-seat
Francis Cummins yesterday celebrated his first anniversary in charge of the Bulls and set his sights on taking the club to the next level in 2014.
The 36-year-old was appointed as successor to Mick Potter at the end of a traumatic campaign which saw the Bulls enter administration and the club’s coaching staff work without pay for three months.
Cummins’ loyalty was rewarded when he was handed his first Super League head coaching role on a three-year contract last September following Omar Khan’s takeover.
Although Cummins could not guide the Bulls to the play-offs for the first time in five years, his small squad ended the campaign in a creditable ninth place.
The former Leeds winger, who arrived at Bradford to become Potter’s assistant ahead of the 2011 campaign, said: “I’ve loved these past 12 months, I really have.
“It’s important to me because I’m responsible for people’s careers and as a group we cannot afford to throw any opportunities away.
“Injuries and having a small squad affected us this year but at the same time our game awareness needs to improve.
“It’s about being in a position where they know that it’s a kick into touch or knowing we don’t need to offload in certain areas.
“It’s about learning from those mistakes but we’re building the club and, if we keep going this way, we’ll be in a great position in the years to come.”
Cummins has made four new signings for next season in Garreth Carvell, Luke George, Dale Ferguson and Lee Gaskell. Ben Evans is also set to commit himself to the club for 2014 and Cummins is aiming to secure a new centre and another forward.
His staffing levels will also be bolstered considerably by the recruitment of additional physios, conditioner, a new Under-19s coach and also a psychiatrist to work with players and staff.
Cummins added: “We’ve got to be looking straight at those play-off places next year – we simply have to be. We didn’t miss out this year through a lack of effort, it was more about game awareness and killing teams off.
“But we want to be competing in the play-offs and we will be providing we improve on this year.”
Cummins is aiming for a squad of possibly 28 or 29 players in 2014. He said: “We’re hoping to secure Ben and we have another player who we are hoping to announce in the next few days.
“We’ve got another one in the pipeline as well, so numbers-wise we’re going to be up to 28 then and can hopefully take that to 29. That’s about right.”
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