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Paul Medley to leave Bradford Bulls for RFL player development role
Bulls legend Paul Medley is set to end a 25-year association with the club to become the national player development manager for the Rugby Football League.
The 47-year-old will oversee and provide support for Super League academies across the country, in addition to development areas, specifically in the North East, Midlands and Cumbria.
The former Bradford player, who takes up his post next month, has held a variety of positions with Bulls, including player performance manager, under-18s and under-19s head coach and, most recently, head of youth.
He said: “I have had to make the hardest decision of my life but this is a massive opportunity for me, one which I simply could not turn down.
“I have had a fantastic time with the Bulls, this club has been my whole world for the best part of 25 years.
“My decision to leave is based solely on career progression and the opportunity ahead.
“This is a whole new challenge for me and I am very much looking forward to having an influence on the future of our sport.
“My new role will allow me to manage the operations of academy-level rugby league, overseeing how things are done and where we can improve.
“This is the next step on the career ladder for me and I cannot wait to get started.”
Medley, who has played a key role in developing some of the Bulls' greatest talents, has spoken of the “incredible memories” made over the past 25 years.
He said: “I will never forget lifting the Super League title after thrashing Paris 68-0, at home, in front of nearly 18,000 screaming fans.
“It was incredible and I am honoured to have represented the club in some huge games, such as the 1996 and 1997 Challenge Cup finals.
“The memories I have made here will last a lifetime. Bradford Bulls is a club I will forever hold close to my heart.
“I wish Francis Cummins all the success in the world. He is a great coach and an even better man. It has been a pleasure to work with him.
“I would also like to thank every member of staff who I have worked with over the years. Those people have helped me love every minute of my time with the Bulls.”
Cummins has hailed Medley's efforts, ahead of his departure later this month.
“Paul has shown immense loyalty to the club and we wish him well with the next step of his career,” said the Bulls chief.
“He put things in place that will forever benefit the club. He has been fantastic to work with.
“The position offered by the RFL is testament to Paul's endeavour. He has worked tirelessly and achieved great things.
“He has forever believed in investing in youth and his vision has and is continuing to pay off. Even in today's Bulls team, a selection of his finest products feature.
“On behalf of the team and the coaching staff, I would like to thank Paul for everything he has done.”
Bulls chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul added: “Paul was always much more than a member of staff to me, he was a wonderful mentor, a great player and an even better friend.
“'Medders' totally dedicated himself to Bradford Bulls and, in my eyes, will be forever remembered as a club legend.
“The talent he has brought through and the frameworks he has put in place are to act as his legacy.
“The fact the governing body has moved to secure his services is proof of his ability.
“I am sure the Bulls faithful will join me in wishing Paul the very best of luck for the future.”
Bulls will announce a new head of youth in due course.
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