TALK to anyone in rugby league about John Kear and the soundbites are always the same.
“Miracle man, outstanding motivator, great track record… when might he return to Super League?”
Well, perhaps this is his time.
At least that is the view of former Bradford chairman Peter Hood, who said Kear’s name often cropped up whenever the Odsal hot-seat became vacant during his time at the club.
Hood admits the former England coach was never viewed as “glamorous” enough but he feels the current Batley boss would be the ideal fit right now.
Not only to mount an improbable late bid to keep the club in Super League but, more likely, to help rebuild the Bulls in the Championship next year.
“The days when leading coaches from both sides of the world would queue up for the top job at Odsal have probably gone, for now at least,” said Hood.
“Now it’s a quest for survival, not silverware, and with the number of games left it’s a massive ask.
“For me, the one name that stands out is John Kear.
“Several times over my 18 or so years at Odsal, Kear’s name came up and not always in relation to the top job.
“Each time it was eclipsed in favour of other, usually more glamorous names, but cometh the hour, cometh the man.
“He’s no stranger to scrapping at the foot of the table, famously keeping Wakefield in the top flight in 2006, and he’s no shrinking violet either.
“He knows how to motivate a dressing room but he’s also a thoughtful man and a proven technical coach.
“Furthermore, he’s proved he’ll bring the same focus and commitment to life in the Championship should that prove necessary.
“I’d be getting Kear on board for the rest of this year and next, with the promise that if relegation happens and he gets the club straight back into Super League, he’ll be guaranteed a contract extension.”
Hood, who was ousted as chairman following a bitter power struggle with his predecessor Chris Caisley during the tumultuous 2012 campaign, believes Jimmy Lowes and Glenn Morrison are also strong contenders.
Lowes previously applied for the job when Steve McNamara left the Bulls and Hood turned him down.
The former Odsal supremo added: “I’m glad to see former Bulls like Glenn Morrison and Jimmy Lowes throwing their hats into the ring.
“It’s their kind of grit and determination we need right now.
“I had to disappoint Jimmy when he applied in the aftermath of Steve McNamara’s departure.
“I had a colleague organise for us to meet secretly, in box eight of the Coral Stand, ahead of a game with Warrington, where Jimmy was coaching at the time.
“I told him right away that he wasn’t going to be the next head coach at Bradford because the board had decided it was never again going to appoint another novice straight into the top job.
“But I also told him he might very well be the next-but-one or next-but-two. And well he might! We’ll know soon enough.
“Meanwhile, we are where we are. And given where we are, and what therefore needs to be done, I vote for John Kear.”