Brett Ferres admits he will always be grateful to the Bulls for giving him his first shot at Super League stardom.
The Huddersfield and England forward returns from a five-game ban in tomorrow’s Magic Weekend clash to face the club where he began his career.
Ferres is one of several ex-Bradford men in the Huddersfield ranks along with Larne Patrick, Joe Wardle and Craig Kopczak, while Anthony Mullally enjoyed a successful Odsal loan spell earlier this season.
Ferres said: “Bradford gave me my first opportunity to play Super League. I’m very grateful for that and how they treated me as a kid as I came through the ranks.
“I signed when I was about 15 on a scholarship and Brian Noble was the coach at the time.
“I became part of the first-team squad when I was quite young and was training with the likes of Jamie Peacock and Robbie Hunter-Paul, which was fantastic.
“I made my debut when I was about 18 at Hull FC and Steve McNamara, who was the under-21s coach at the time, really looked after me.”
When the Bulls signed David Solomona from Wakefield ahead of the 2007 campaign, Ferres went in the opposite direction.
He recalled: “I had just broken into the first-team and got wind that David Solomona was going to sign for Bradford.
“I had just started to establish myself but he was coming into my spot and I got the opportunity to go to Wakefield.
“I went there for two seasons and then signed for Castleford before making the move to Huddersfield in 2012. I’ve not looked back since.”
The Bulls were bought out of administration by Marc Green in March and he swiftly appointed Steve Ferres – Brett’s uncle – as managing director.
Brett said: “The uncertainty around the place has hopefully been put to bed with Marc Green and Steve going in there.
“They’ve got a very good side on paper and are probably just lacking a bit of strength in depth.
“But things seem to be turning in their favour. Anthony Mullally went there on loan and returned to Huddersfield a far better player.
“Antonio Kaufusi has now gone there and will do a great job, I’m sure.”
Ferres enjoyed the best season of his career last year after helping Huddersfield to finish top and then earning a place in England’s World Cup side.
“I was fortunate to get in the England squad and be a part of the World Cup campaign,” he said.
“To be starting against Australia in the opening game was unbelievable and is still quite surreal.
“It was definitely the best season of my career. I didn’t miss many games, I stayed largely injury free and I enjoyed some good form throughout the year.”