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Luke Gale eager to repay Bradford Bulls’ faith in him
Luke Gale and his agent had a meeting on Tuesday with Francis Cummins and the Bulls’ board of directors.
A new contract was on the table, keeping him at the club until the end of 2016.
The England Knights scrum half had other options.
Lee Radford, having persuaded Garreth Carvell to move to Hull, made it public he wanted Gale too.
The 25-year-old told the Bulls’ hierarchy of his concerns for the club following the recent administration.
He spoke of his ambition and his desire to play for England.
Talks lasted an hour.
Gale put pen to paper.
“With other people leaving, you’ve got to look at your options in this day and age and you’d be stupid not to,” said Gale.
“I sat down with my agent, Craig Harrison, and we went over the options and the pros and cons.
“I don’t know what the ruling is – whether I was under contract or not following the change of ownership – because I’m just a rugby player and I focus on that.
“I spoke with Robbie Hunter-Paul and the board and yes, I did seek assurances.
“We had a good hour’s chat and I came out of the meeting a lot clearer. I wanted to stay loyal to Bradford.”
Ankle-related injuries have kept Gale sidelined for long periods in each of his two seasons at Odsal but he is now in peak physical condition and raring to go.
The former London player said: “We’ve been through a lot these past couple of years and you never know if you are coming or going.
“It seems to be one step forward and ten steps back.
“But I just wanted to repay Bradford’s faith in me. Franny is confident in my ability and I’m confident in it as well.
“You can’t really speak about relegation or top eight because you don’t know how many points we’re going to get deducted.
“But I believe we have got a good enough group of players and coaching staff to make a real impact this year. I wouldn’t have signed otherwise.”
It was difficult to put a price on Gale’s show of loyalty this week.
Here was Cummins’ vice-captain and key playmaker, popular and respected by all in the game, lengthening his commitment to the club.
Whereas Carvell opted to go, Gale did not.
He admitted: “I would have loved to have played with Gaz here.
“In that friendly against Hull, he looked a handful and he was the same in training. I like his style because he’s old school and gets stuck in.
“I spoke to him on Tuesday and he said he saw I had signed a new deal. He wished me all the best and I wished him all the best.
“I told him to keep that forearm away from me when we play Hull, to make sure he doesn’t take my head off!
“It’s a massive shame he’s gone and we need a couple more players to replace him now.”
Danny Bridge arrived on loan from Warrington this week and could face Castleford at Odsal tomorrow as the Bulls look to erase the memories of their recent friendly defeat to the Tigers.
Gale said: “That was an embarrassment really and we can’t afford to be like that in Super League.
“If you don’t turn up or you’re not there mentally, then you will get beaten.
“We need to get the consistency back – but we’ve trained well this week and I can’t wait for Sunday now.”