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Bradford Bulls new boy Garreth Carvell out to play long game
Garreth Carvell laughs off the suggestion that he could hang up his boots in two years’ time.
That is when his contract expires and the Bulls prop is keen to move into coaching when he retires.
Thus he will look to gain as much coaching experience as possible under Francis Cummins, potentially opening the door for the next chapter in his career when he finally does call time on his playing days.
But, with medical care and rehabilitation increasingly prolonging careers throughout Super League, the 32-year-old former Hull and Warrington man plans to continue playing for some time yet.
“I’ve signed here for two years but I want to be playing for another three or four,” said Carvell.
“I chose Bradford because I wanted to come here and help the club develop.
“I felt the Bulls were in a building phase and I’d like to go into coaching when I finish playing.
“I thought this was a great place to get involved with the Academy as a player and then hopefully have a career in coaching afterwards.
“I’ll just take in what I can from Franny and try to get involved with the 16s and 19s here at Bradford.
“I’ll do it for free because that’s the sort of bloke I am!
“When you’re playing, retirement seems a million miles away but all of a sudden it’s getting closer.
“You have to start thinking about what you want to do.
“Being in the game has been fantastic – the banter with the boys and playing together as a team is something I really enjoy.
“I want that to continue and I’d like to think I’ve got quite vast experience and have played under some great coaches.
“I’d like to pass on that knowledge and experience on the coaching side.”
Compared to fellow props such as Jamie Peacock and Adrian Morley, Carvell remains something of a youngster at 32.
Former Bulls captain Peacock this week signed a new two-year deal that will take him to just short of his 39th birthday.
Morley turns 37 in May, while another ex-Bradford star Steve Menzies – the Peter Pan of Super League – retired last season aged 39.
Carvell added: “Seeing these guys go on for so long is phenomenal – they have achieved so much and they are special players.
“I’ll just go along with how my body is feeling and whether I’ve still got the desire to carry on playing.
“It’s a decision I’ll make at the time and we’ll just see how we go but I’m certainly planning on going on for a good while yet.”
Carvell certainly looked ripe for a big campaign when he made his first appearance for the Bulls in the opening friendly against Hull FC earlier this month.
The amiable Yorkshireman, typically, did not take a backward step, laying a destructive platform which put the Bulls in control.
The performance encouraged hopes that, if Cummins’ squad can remain largely injury-free this year, then can compete at the right end of the table and make the play-offs for the first time in six years.
Carvell said: “There is a lot of history in the club but we’re not getting carried away with that.
“It’s in the past and we are where we are now.
“It’s a really small squad, so we just need to make sure we steer clear of injuries and do the right thing, with every player taking care of himself and seeing the staff when they need to.
“But the starting 17 is up there and the combinations are good – everyone works well together.
“More importantly, the attitude’s right.
“You can have as many stars as you want but if you’ve not got that desire to work hard for your team-mates, and be tough with them, then you’re not going to go far.
“But the attitude here is spot on, so that bodes well.”
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