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Bradford Bulls cannot keep complaining ‘if only’
Brett Kearney is hoping to finally have his first successful Super League season next year after branding the past campaign “unacceptable”.
The Australian full back joined the Bulls from Cronulla Sharks ahead of the 2010 campaign and has yet to experience the Super League play-offs.
Not since 2008 have Bradford experienced the end-of-season lottery and Kearney is keen to halt that unwanted sequence next term.
“I’ve had one finals series in 11 years and for me personally, that’s not good enough,” he said.
“I guess from the time the Castleford game finished it was time to focus on next year and how we were going to prepare and make things work for us.
“Another unsuccessful year was unacceptable for us though. I’ve said those words before and we can’t keep saying ‘if only’. We’ve got to make it work and make it happen.
“I don’t want to finish my career and not have played in more play-offs and not even having won a medal.”
Kearney felt that the end of the season came at a good time for him after playing injured at times throughout the 2013 campaign.
But the 30-year-old would have swapped the extra time off if playing through the pain barrier meant participating in the play-offs.
“At times where I’ve had niggles I haven’t had chance to take that extra week off to recover and get things working a little bit better,” said Kearney.
“When I first did my shoulder and collarbone this season, it probably did need an extra couple of weeks or so to get it a bit stronger before I was able to get back.
“I got the injury on my collarbone against Widnes and then in the Cas game it really did flare up again.
“The last couple of weeks of the season I was just waking up in the middle of the night disturbing the missus with neck and back pain.
“It was a matter of trying to get movement of muscles back but unfortunately it was a bit too long before the end of the season.
“In a competition where our target is to get into the final series, you can’t afford to have that extra time off.
“The number of players that we had who were playing busted this year through different periods of the season was just unbelievable.
“You want to be out there playing as quickly as possible though, even if you’re not quite right.
“It is a big relief that I now have time off to recover – but I’d have rather been playing in the play-offs in pain, if I’m honest.
“But this time that we have off now will help me get strong in time for the pre-season and ready and raring to go for the start of 2014.”
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