Ferres aims to give Cummins all tools needed to keep Bradford Bulls in Super League (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Steve Ferres aims to give Francis Cummins all tools needed to keep Bradford Bulls in Super League
As an ardent rugby league man with over 40 years in the game as a player, coach and administrator, Steve Ferres has an impressive curriculum vitae.
The former Bradford Northern player has barely stopped to draw breath since being appointed as managing director by new owner Marc Green this week.
He has embarked on a strategic review of the club, which he estimates will take him the best part of a month.
In the meantime, efforts to bolster Francis Cummins’ theadbare squad are underway.
“I’ll be looking at the business from top to bottom and putting a plan in place to take it forward,” said Ferres, who had been out of the game since leaving Castleford in February last year.
“That means having a sustainable business plan and being able to move forward with the right people in the right places doing the right job.
“There will be a particular emphasis on the football side of things.”
Ferres says the Bulls would ideally like to replace the three players (Garreth Carvell, Jarrod Sammut and Nick Scruton) they lost in the wake of the club’s administration.
He said: “I’m confident of giving Francis the tools to do the job.
“Once he’s got the tools and the players to do the job, then hopefully we can get the wins that we need to stay up.
“We’ve got to do everything in our power to try and keep this club in Super League.
“I’d like to see the three players we've lost replaced. If we can get a couple of props in then it helps Francis, and if there is anything available beyond that we will look at it.
“We’ve got to look at what Francis needs and his requirements for the short, medium and long-term.”
Ferres warned, however, that making additions to the squad will not be easy.
It remains to be seen whether the Bulls will continue to use the loan market or pay transfer fees for players.
“Bradford fans are very knowledgeable about their rugby league,” said Ferres.
“They know that we need players and we know that we need players but getting them is a different matter.
“You’re into the season and teams don’t want to let players go, especially those we are competing with at the lower end of the division.
“They don’t want us to have their players and, for one reason or another, we’ve not been able to land anything for this week that has suited Francis’ requirements. But it won’t be for lack of effort, that’s all I will say.”
Ferres’ appointment came about after he was recommended to Green, and they are expected in the directors box at Widnes tomorrow, along with Robbie Hunter-Paul, who as chief executive remains responsible for the day-to-day running of the club.
Winning back the trust from the supporters is among Ferres' priorities.
He said: “We’ve got to work hard to give the club some credibility and to engage with the fans because Bradford have been through a very traumatic period and limped along from one disaster to another.
“As a rugby league person, I’m disappointed with what I’ve seen happen and how it has unfolded, as most people in the game are.
“But the difference with Bradford and the clubs I’ve been at previously is that this has the potential to be a top club again – and that’s no disrespect to those other clubs.
“I’ll be working 24-7 because rugby league isn’t a nine to five job. If I’m trying to do a deal for a player and my phone rings at midnight, I’ll take the call.”
Ferres’ return to Bradford has evoked memories of his three-year spell as a player, adding: “We won a couple of championships and the John Player Trophy, so I loved it and I wish I had stayed longer.
“I always enjoyed my rugby wherever I played but I had more success here than anywhere else.”
Over 30 years on, Ferres will hope to again make a lasting impact on the club's fortunes.
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