Jimmy Lowes seeking positive attitude from Bradford Bulls squad but recruitment must start now

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jimmy Lowes is back at Odsal as the Bulls' new head coach Jimmy Lowes is back at Odsal as the Bulls' new head coach

JIMMY Lowes was asked at Tuesday's press conference whether he would look to build his team around a strong forward pack.

Reminded of the 'Awesome Foursome' that he played alongside in the all-conquering Bulls side, the acerbic response was classic Lowes.

"They were only awesome because I made them awesome!" said the new head coach.

Cue laughter all round.

After a decade away from Odsal, Lowes was back at his spiritual home; cracking jokes, giving countless interviews, talking of returning the club to the glories which became the norm during his playing days.

"I was buzzing just to get an interview and that was massively important for me," said 44-year-old Lowes, who gave up his position as Leeds Carnegie head coach to take the Bulls hot-seat.

"But to actually get the job? I was chuffed to pieces."

A three-year deal suggests Lowes will be given time but he now needs a commodity equally precious to any head coach.

Players.

The Bulls appear almost certain to be playing in the Championship next season and one leading agent believes Lowes may need to recruit up to 20 players to offset what could be a mass exodus.

Only Sam Bates and Adam Brook are believed to have contracts still keeping them at the club in the event of relegation.

The rest of the players would be free to leave so it is critical they start assembling a squad for next year, with ambitious Leigh and Featherstone having already made their intentions clear.

A top-four finish in the Championship next season is a must in order to have any hope of promotion back to Super League at the end of 2015.

"I have targets in mind," said Lowes.

It has been said that Francis Cummins was not given the tools to do the job this season, with Jamal Fakir having been the club's only permanent signing since Marc Green took over in March.

The rest have been largely loan signings, with mixed results.

There is no doubt the Bulls' better players would leave in the event of relegation, with Lowes admitting as much this week.

Efforts must surely be made to tie down home-grown youngsters such Oliver Roberts, Alex Mellor and Nathan Conroy before they are snapped up elsewhere.

Build a side around these lads who have a love for Bradford and put them alongside some hardened, seasoned campaigners who are up for the challenge of leading what will effectively be the club's rebirth.

It remains to be seen what kind of squad Lowes will have at his disposal when the Bulls kick off life in the Championship next season – but time is of the essence.

What the Bulls should not lack under Lowes, however, is desire.

Few can forget his fearsome approach as a player, intimidating and inspiring in equal measure.

He successfully transmitted that to his squad at Leeds last season, when they reached the play-off semi-finals, and will now aim to stamp his outlook on the Bulls squad.

"The big thing last year at Leeds was the attitude of the boys and that's a big thing in sport generally," said Lowes.

"Look at the World Cup and the Costa Ricans now. It's nothing to do with their skill but everything to do with their attitude.

"They have brushed everything aside and said 'we'll work harder than everybody else'.

"That's why they've had a little bit of success. It's not the be-all and end-all because you still need quality in your team.

"But if you've got the right attitude it takes you a long way. That was massive for me to have the players' attitude.

"It just goes to show that while they might not have been the best players in the league, to nearly achieve promotion – after being coached by someone who knew very little about the game – was all credit to them."

Lowes could soon find himself plotting a promotion push in the Championship, only this time the 13-man code, and will hope to have the squad in place to do so.

Comments (5)

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7:15am Thu 26 Jun 14

bartsbull says...

Who as said all the players will desert the club not all of the super league clubs
will be able to take on all the players from the two teams that go down

There will be a surplus of players with no clubs to go to plus players who are not offered contracts with there exsisting clubs the league should have been left at 14 clubs with the bottom club going down
The top club promoted and given a two year grace one year to build and a year to compete
The RFL need a big shake up there are to many gready owners in our game that are only interested in there own club not with the game and if there are two league they should both be full time then you have two competitive league
Who as said all the players will desert the club not all of the super league clubs will be able to take on all the players from the two teams that go down There will be a surplus of players with no clubs to go to plus players who are not offered contracts with there exsisting clubs the league should have been left at 14 clubs with the bottom club going down The top club promoted and given a two year grace one year to build and a year to compete The RFL need a big shake up there are to many gready owners in our game that are only interested in there own club not with the game and if there are two league they should both be full time then you have two competitive league bartsbull
  • Score: 7

8:27am Thu 26 Jun 14

Bone_idle18 says...

The way some of the players have performed this season, they might even struggle in the championship. I can see other SL clubs wanting some players, but others will struggle to get ant attention in the top tier.
The way some of the players have performed this season, they might even struggle in the championship. I can see other SL clubs wanting some players, but others will struggle to get ant attention in the top tier. Bone_idle18
  • Score: 5

8:37am Thu 26 Jun 14

mmmbeefy says...

There's plenty of ex-Bulls academy lads round and about in the Championship. Given the rules are being changed so that club grown players have only 40% of their salary counting on the cap, it would surely make the most sense to get these lads on the phone and get them to come home.

Guys like Matt Cook, Matt James, Steve Crossley, Karl and Leon Pryce are all lads who could do a decent job for the club
There's plenty of ex-Bulls academy lads round and about in the Championship. Given the rules are being changed so that club grown players have only 40% of their salary counting on the cap, it would surely make the most sense to get these lads on the phone and get them to come home. Guys like Matt Cook, Matt James, Steve Crossley, Karl and Leon Pryce are all lads who could do a decent job for the club mmmbeefy
  • Score: 3

8:43am Thu 26 Jun 14

raisemeup says...

As predicted at the start of this season of relegation, (promotion for anyone is a distant benefit) apart from the team that will be promoted from Champ. 1 ?
The clubs who could afford it would buy players to ensure the teams who couldn't afford that luxury were the most likely to be the at risk group, and not them. Hence all the dual registration and loanees, but it still is dependant on which team is the threatened at risk of relegation club, as to who and when the richer clubs would loan out Players, for example would Wakefield have allowed Sammut or
Scruton to come back to us on loan, even if they didn't want them?

Cynicism rules,, and do we hear anything from the orchestrators of this mess, where is Barwick,Wood,Solly,R
immer?
As predicted at the start of this season of relegation, (promotion for anyone is a distant benefit) apart from the team that will be promoted from Champ. 1 ? The clubs who could afford it would buy players to ensure the teams who couldn't afford that luxury were the most likely to be the at risk group, and not them. Hence all the dual registration and loanees, but it still is dependant on which team is the threatened at risk of relegation club, as to who and when the richer clubs would loan out Players, for example would Wakefield have allowed Sammut or Scruton to come back to us on loan, even if they didn't want them? Cynicism rules,, and do we hear anything from the orchestrators of this mess, where is Barwick,Wood,Solly,R immer? raisemeup
  • Score: 6

11:40pm Thu 26 Jun 14

bradfordbronco says...

Lowes need to find out who is worth keeping and who he needs to let go. Next season starts now. If we have next years squad sorted by the end of this season he'll have a full off season to prepare and do some proper coaching and skills work.

The problem for a long time now has been the lack of coaching of the players. I hope Jimmy can fix this and get the best out the players he has. In the past players have improved once they've left the club. I can't think of one who has got better under any Bulls coach since Brian Smith
Lowes need to find out who is worth keeping and who he needs to let go. Next season starts now. If we have next years squad sorted by the end of this season he'll have a full off season to prepare and do some proper coaching and skills work. The problem for a long time now has been the lack of coaching of the players. I hope Jimmy can fix this and get the best out the players he has. In the past players have improved once they've left the club. I can't think of one who has got better under any Bulls coach since Brian Smith bradfordbronco
  • Score: 0

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