Ferres hoping to help give Bradford people a Bulls team to be proud of (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Steve Ferres hoping to help give Bradford people a Bulls team to be proud of
Steve Ferres was unsure whether he would work in rugby league again when he resigned as Castleford chief executive in February 2013.
The boyhood Tigers fan with more than 40 years in the professional game as a player, coach and administrator felt the club were not in a position to push through the changes he believed were necessary.
He was not enjoying the role and left after just seven months.
But having being appointed as Bulls managing director by Marc Green in March, Ferres is back in the game and back enjoying himself again.
“It’s fair to say when I went to Castleford, I thought it was going to be my last job in rugby league,” said the 60-year-old former Bradford Northern player.
“If it hadn’t been for Marc approaching me and offering me a rope, I wouldn’t be here now.
“I’ve been involved in the game since I was 17 but I’d like to think this is definitely my last job in club football.
“I’ve worked for a number of clubs in Castleford, Wakefield, York and Hunslet and been around plenty more as a consultant.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge at the Bulls of putting my own stamp onto something that needs change.
“I’d like to go away from here knowing that I’ve helped to give the people of Bradford something to be proud of.”
Ferres works closely with Green, chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul and commercial director Danny Potticary.
“Whatever we do, we do as a team – and that includes the board, the staff, the players and the supporters too,” he said.
“We’ve all got to work together to effectively create our own Bulls because it’s like the club has been reborn.
“You can talk about returning to the glory days but you can’t turn the clock back and we’ve got to move forward. Everyone at the club is singing off the same hymn sheet.
“We’ve a lot of bridges to build with disillusioned fans but if we can continue to restore confidence among supporters, and there are little improvements being made around the ground on a daily basis, then bigger things will happen.
“Every part of the business is being worked on and, while it will take time, there is an enormous amount of enthusiasm and drive going into it.
“It’s about piecing it all together and getting all the relevant income streams to where they need to be – and, of course, putting out a team the fans can be proud of.”
Ferres’ role includes responsibility for the football department and he is constantly on the phone to agents as he seeks to bolster Francis Cummins’ squad.
Since the new regime took control, Jamal Fakir, Jay Pitts, Joe Arundel and Antonio Kaufusi have arrived. After victories over Catalan Dragons and Warrington, belief is growing.
The upturn followed a scathing statement by Ferres in the wake of the club-record loss at Wigan at Easter Monday.
“The last two performances have been outstanding, so credit to the players and the coaching staff for turning it around,” he said.
“They have always believed in themselves and that has been shown against Catalan and Warrington. I know they are working hard for that to continue.”
As the search for further reinforcements continues, so too does the preparation for the club’s forthcoming points appeal, which is now expected to be heard at the end of the month.
Ferres said: “Any points back would be a bonus. Six would be fantastic, four would be good and two would be better than none.
“We’re off the bottom of the table, we’ve wiped out the six-point penalty and we want some points on the board now.
“Every game is like a cup final for these boys and they are treating it as such.
“I just want people to engage with the club again – but we’ve got to give them reasons not only to come to Odsal but to return. I’m sure that’s what we will deliver.”
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