Francis Cummins delighted to welcome Bradford Bulls cavalry

Bulls skipper Matt Diskin is one of five players set for a return to the ranks against Wakefield this weekend

Bulls skipper Matt Diskin is one of five players set for a return to the ranks against Wakefield this weekend

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Bulls Reporter

Bulls coach Francis Cummins admits it feels like “an eternity” since he had so many players vying for selection.

Cummins has seen his squad ravaged by departures and injury all season but five men are poised to return in Sunday’s crucial home clash with Wakefield.

Skipper Matt Diskin and fellow veteran Chev Walker look certain to feature after being rested during last week’s defeat at Catalan Dragons.

Jamal Fakir, Dale Ferguson and Matty Blythe are also in contention to face the Wildcats.

Cummins said: “To see that handful of lads back in full training has been good. Provided they are all okay, then we could be not far off full strength this weekend.

“It’s what we’ve needed as well. We’ve had to toil long and hard and we’ve had young lads having to jump in and players playing out of position.

“It’s pleasing to have a decent-sized squad to choose from because it seems like an eternity since we had that.”

Diskin and Walker have played through the pain barrier in recent weeks and Cummins saluted the former Leeds pair.

“I must pay tribute to them because they have been playing with knocks for the last six weeks that would keep most people out,” he said.

“They have been finding a way to play the game for us because we’ve only had one or two middles.

“It came to a point where we had to give them a rest so, because of the travel involved, we had to give them last weekend off.

“That has hopefully done them good and should allow them to kick on for the rest of the season.”

Blythe, Ferguson and Fakir have overcome knee, back and hand injuries respectively and their return will see Cummins shuffle his pack.

“Fakir, Blythe and Ferguson have all been training in and out for the last week or so,” said the Bulls chief.

“At the end of last week, Dale was telling me he was ready to play but it was more that he needed a good week’s training behind him.

“Dale looked great today and Blythey is in full training, plus Ja-ja is also looking good.”

Such has been the crippling injury crisis at Bradford this season that at times Cummins has barely had a dozen fit players able to train.

“It has been difficult these past weeks when we’ve had eight players training one week and 11 the next,” he said.

“It’s difficult but you find out about people in those kind of circumstances. At the same time, it will be nice to get players back in positions that they excel in.”

Cummins said the Bulls were hopeful of extending Antonio Kaufusi’s initial four-match loan, which expires after this weekend.

“We are trying our best because we want Antonio to stay here as long as possible,” he said.

“From the minute he came through the door on the Thursday before the Warrington game, he gave us a massive lift.

“It’s like he has been here for years. He’s settled in really well and been one of our leaders, so we would love to keep him.”

Comments (13)

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7:45am Thu 29 May 14

axelf1963 says...

What ever happened to the dewsbury link up ? Surely someone was good enough ?
What ever happened to the dewsbury link up ? Surely someone was good enough ? axelf1963
  • Score: 3

7:58am Thu 29 May 14

oddshapedballs says...

Would "magic" weekend where we had little chance of winning not been a better time to rest players?
Would "magic" weekend where we had little chance of winning not been a better time to rest players? oddshapedballs
  • Score: 7

10:02am Thu 29 May 14

bullybullman says...

No excusses this week then Franny !
No excusses this week then Franny ! bullybullman
  • Score: 7

10:10am Thu 29 May 14

bullybullman says...

Perhaps a few more players might even put their hand & say " I want to play & do a job this week " or perhaps Mr Green will say Franny your sh*t after all & sack you.
Perhaps a few more players might even put their hand & say " I want to play & do a job this week " or perhaps Mr Green will say Franny your sh*t after all & sack you. bullybullman
  • Score: 1

11:08am Thu 29 May 14

franklyn says...

Does it really matter who's fit and who's not? the damage is done now and we are in the championship next season.
let's see how many of them are there to help out then. I know it's been hard but there is no excuse for some of the pathetic performances we have had to watch this season.
Truth is this squad just aren't good enough for S/L. AND FOR THOSE IN DOUBT, remember how they played at wigan against most of their junior side.
Sorry but a complete new start is needed for next year..
Does it really matter who's fit and who's not? the damage is done now and we are in the championship next season. let's see how many of them are there to help out then. I know it's been hard but there is no excuse for some of the pathetic performances we have had to watch this season. Truth is this squad just aren't good enough for S/L. AND FOR THOSE IN DOUBT, remember how they played at wigan against most of their junior side. Sorry but a complete new start is needed for next year.. franklyn
  • Score: -3

12:22pm Thu 29 May 14

The Fat Lady Sings says...

There were 11000 spectators at the ground to witness Wakefield versus Castleford in their epic relegation battle in 2006. I wonder how many will be there on Sunday given Mr Green's warm word of encouragement to the supporters.
An analogy. You frequent a restaurant. You are considered a patron but the new chef is not up to it and the food served up is dire, week after week. Do you:
A) Keep quiet and continue to go because you are a patron.
B) Complain to the owner and say he needs to change the chef.
C) Find another restaurant.

I bet not many, including Mr Green, would answer A but he seems to expect the Bradford faithful to offer submissive acceptance. I'll go for 7000 at best and the Bulls to win by 4 points.
There were 11000 spectators at the ground to witness Wakefield versus Castleford in their epic relegation battle in 2006. I wonder how many will be there on Sunday given Mr Green's warm word of encouragement to the supporters. An analogy. You frequent a restaurant. You are considered a patron but the new chef is not up to it and the food served up is dire, week after week. Do you: A) Keep quiet and continue to go because you are a patron. B) Complain to the owner and say he needs to change the chef. C) Find another restaurant. I bet not many, including Mr Green, would answer A but he seems to expect the Bradford faithful to offer submissive acceptance. I'll go for 7000 at best and the Bulls to win by 4 points. The Fat Lady Sings
  • Score: 4

1:25pm Thu 29 May 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

The players had a nice holiday in France last week, feet up rest and relaxation.

They should all be recharged for this weekend based on the break I saw them have last week.
The players had a nice holiday in France last week, feet up rest and relaxation. They should all be recharged for this weekend based on the break I saw them have last week. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Thu 29 May 14

bully4us says...

That's true TVOR - feet up, rest and relaxation is what they had and that was while the game was on!
That's true TVOR - feet up, rest and relaxation is what they had and that was while the game was on! bully4us
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Thu 29 May 14

portugalbull says...

Bootsnall, John Kerr and Barry McD have spoken, Wakefield to win.
Do we need to play the match? Should our players take the afternoon off as they have done in recent games or do they turn up and show the supporters they do after all know how to play. I hope its the latter and the start of a winning run but I'm ever the optimist.
Two cup wins and we could be at Wembley. The enquiry could give us the 6points back. We can avoid relegation. Pigs might fly.
Bootsnall, John Kerr and Barry McD have spoken, Wakefield to win. Do we need to play the match? Should our players take the afternoon off as they have done in recent games or do they turn up and show the supporters they do after all know how to play. I hope its the latter and the start of a winning run but I'm ever the optimist. Two cup wins and we could be at Wembley. The enquiry could give us the 6points back. We can avoid relegation. Pigs might fly. portugalbull
  • Score: 0

10:19pm Thu 29 May 14

Paul from Idle says...

When are the new signings arriving?
I don't mean the two juniors either.....
When are the new signings arriving? I don't mean the two juniors either..... Paul from Idle
  • Score: 1

8:21am Fri 30 May 14

oswald777 says...

I'll save Franny doing the interview after this game, here you go. 'I'm not making excuses but'................
I'll save Franny doing the interview after this game, here you go. 'I'm not making excuses but'................ oswald777
  • Score: 0

11:43am Fri 30 May 14

BierleyBoy says...

It was claimed that there were bodies back for the Catalans game. It made no difference as there was no spirit or fight on show.

A massive change in attitude is needed if the team is going to compete. Sunday is a big game & the Bulls need to win if they are to have even the slightest chance of closing the 8 point gap, which with the points aggregate is effectively 10 points.

Green must think Bulls fans are stupid if he is trying to sell them this game in the way he has.
It was claimed that there were bodies back for the Catalans game. It made no difference as there was no spirit or fight on show. A massive change in attitude is needed if the team is going to compete. Sunday is a big game & the Bulls need to win if they are to have even the slightest chance of closing the 8 point gap, which with the points aggregate is effectively 10 points. Green must think Bulls fans are stupid if he is trying to sell them this game in the way he has. BierleyBoy
  • Score: 1

12:11pm Fri 30 May 14

Out of site says...

Why do you all keep moaning,support the team be positive and stop worrying about relegation.its going to happen.
Why do you all keep moaning,support the team be positive and stop worrying about relegation.its going to happen. Out of site
  • Score: 1

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