Scruton: It won’t be easy facing my former Bradford Bulls team-mates (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Nick Scruton: It won’t be easy facing my former Bradford Bulls team-mates
When Nick Scruton helped the Bulls to victory at Wakefield on February 20, little did he know it would prove to be his last game for the club.
Just over a week later, he followed Garreth Carvell and Jarrod Sammut out of Bradford in the wake of the club’s slide into administration.
On Sunday, Scruton will make his first return to Odsal as a Wildcats player in a game that the hosts simply must win to avoid falling ten points behind Richard Agar’s side.
“As soon as our match against Warrington finished last weekend, I started thinking about the Bulls game,” said Scruton.
“It’s not going to be easy but I’m looking forward to it and it’s a massive game for both clubs.
“It will have a cup-tie feel to it and both teams are going to be desperate for the points.
“There is pressure on both sides because if we lose and Bradford get some of their points back next week, then it becomes tight.”
Victory on Sunday for Wakefield, who face London in their following match, would leave Scruton’s old team-mates deeper in the relegation quicksand.
He said: “If Wakefield stay up it would probably be at Bradford’s expense and I knew that when I signed.”
The former Leeds prop never really wanted to leave and only went because of the club’s ongoing ownership saga.
He explained: “It was awful coming in to Tong and telling everyone that the best thing for me and my family was leaving.
“I still think about it now. When I see the lads doing well or read articles about them being a good bunch who stick together, I feel bad that I had to leave them.
“They weren’t just rugby players to me; they were my best friends as well. We had been through a lot together but leaving was what I had to do.
“A lot of the lads said ‘you’d be stupid not to, you can’t turn this down’ and it was nice of everyone to be nice to me.
“But that made it even harder and sadder. I’d rather they had called me every name under the sun so I could have left and said ‘stuff you lot’.
“But they were all awesome about it and 99 per cent of the fans were brilliant too. I’ve only good things to say about Bradford.”
Scruton’s departure was all the more disappointing, given that he picked up a clutch of player-of-the-year awards in 2013.
“It was the best season of my career ever,” he recalled.
“I finally got over a lot of injuries and was looking to kick on again this year, so having to leave came as bad timing.
“I think moving must have affected me more than I thought because in the first few weeks I was useless.
“I’ve finally settled in now and am just looking forward to playing some good stuff for Wakefield.”
Scruton’s initial struggle to settle sparked rumours of a return to Bradford.
But the 29-year-old said: “I couldn’t see it ever working and, as I’ve said before, once you make your bed you’ve got to lie in it.
“I’m a Wakefield player now and I just want to do well for them.”
Scruton left Bradford essentially because he wanted to safeguard the future of his wife Alice, who works for the Wildcats in a player welfare role, and their young son George.
He has already begun planning for life after rugby league and works part-time for his dad’s bricklaying business – Mark Scruton Builders.
Scruton explained: “I’m working with my dad with all my spare time.
“I finish training at around 1pm and I usually head straight over to work and tend to finish at about 4.30pm.
“On my day off from rugby, I get a full day in working with my dad.
“It’s taken him 30 years to get a decent reputation and we work all over the place.
“He’s over in Goole next week, we’ve been on the other side of Leeds in Cookridge and we’ll do anywhere around Morley and Gildersome.
“He’s got about four jobs on at the minute and needs a spare pair of hands. It’s pretty hard but it’s only going to benefit me in the end.”
Scruton has seen former team-mates find themselves out of Super League and playing on a part-time basis in the Championship.
That prompted him to start planning ahead.
“I just got a bit panicky because you never realise how old you are and time creeps up on you,” he said.
“When Wagga (Wayne Godwin) went to Dewsbury and had to go part-time, he was in a real panic and didn’t really have anything to fall back on.
“It was his wife who said to mine ‘whatever you do, make sure Nick has got something to fall back on after rugby’, so my dad advised I started working with him.
“So that’s me, a part-time bricklayer now. There are another two lads who have worked with my dad for ages and obviously myself, so there are four of us now.
“I’m enjoying it, although not so much in the middle of winter.
“I knew I needed to do something to make sure I could put food on the table for George when I finish playing rugby.”
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