Family security persuaded Manase Manuokafoa to quit Bradford Bulls

Family security persuaded Manase Manuokafoa to quit Bradford Bulls

Widnes have been looking to sign Manase Manuokafoa for some time

Manase Manuokafoa in action against Huddersfield at the weekend

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

THE Bulls will unveil their first new signing ahead of the 2015 campaign tomorrow after Manase Manuokafoa secured a move to Widnes.

The 29-year-old former South Sydney, Parramatta and North Queensland prop was keen to stay in Super League and has secured the option of a third season with Denis Betts' Vikings.

Manuokafoa said: "I'm really happy to be joining the Widnes family. I know a lot of the boys there already. There are some great players at Widnes and I just can't wait to be a part of it.

"With the situation as it is at Bradford, I needed to get my future sorted and I wanted security for my family. Denis has shown faith in me and I'm over the moon to be joining Widnes and enhancing the club's good name.

"For a front-rower, I'm heading into my peak and I want to better myself and improve. Widnes have some good young players coming through but I want to earn my spot in the team. I want to enjoy my game and improve week in, week out.

"I'll leave Bradford with some good memories and I've had a good three years there – but you have to move on. I've made friends for life there and the fans have been brilliant but this is a new chapter for me at Widnes."

Betts is delighted with the signing, having tried unsuccessfully to persuade Manuokafoa to join the Vikings during the Bulls' financial crisis.

He said: "We have been looking at him for a while now and I almost signed him a few years ago when the Bulls were in administration the first time around but he was pretty happy to stay where he was.

"We were after something different in a front-rower and he's a big man, has good footwork, he can hit hard and he ticks all the boxes we were looking for on the playing side of things.

"But first and foremost we are getting a great character, a hard worker, and he wants to improve – and that is only going to enhance our playing staff and squad."

Luke Gale's move to Castleford is expected to be announced shortly and Jamal Fakir has confirmed he is heading home at the end of the season to join Lezignan for family reasons.

Fakir revealed he attracted interest from a number of clubs and said: "The Bulls wanted to keep me and London Broncos were interested, as well as Huddersfield and Widnes.

"My priority was to continue my journey in the Super League but after weighing the pros and cons, the balance has tipped the family side.

"We felt with my wife and our daughter it was better to return to France.

"I feel good at Bradford but the future is uncertain here. We do not know which players will remain next season.

"Jimmy Lowes has put more emphasis on defence than Francis Cummins did.

"We were too lax in this area of the game and we have made real progress in recent times. In addition, Lowes has a lot of knowledge after all his years spent as assistant.

"I've enjoyed my time here but I am looking forward to playing at Lezignan too."

Comments (9)

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7:26am Thu 24 Jul 14

colgre says...

Bye naz...never broke a sweat never mind a tackle....
Bye naz...never broke a sweat never mind a tackle.... colgre
  • Score: 25

8:46am Thu 24 Jul 14

bully4us says...

I am not that bothered at losing him as long as we get a better player who doesn't stop as he nears the defence. Great bloke but our pack this year have been woeful. Maybe Jimmy sees that we need fresh blood in there who will stand up and be counted. Could you imagine Jimmy playing in a pack like ours without complaining about them?
I am not that bothered at losing him as long as we get a better player who doesn't stop as he nears the defence. Great bloke but our pack this year have been woeful. Maybe Jimmy sees that we need fresh blood in there who will stand up and be counted. Could you imagine Jimmy playing in a pack like ours without complaining about them? bully4us
  • Score: 8

10:07am Thu 24 Jul 14

nosher says...

Manu has not done enough and we won't miss him. Fakir made some impact and made defences work but is not fit enough. Can't see where new props are going to come from in the British game. Maybe there are some hungry ausies out there. From what I have seen of the up and coming young guns, they ain't ready.
Manu has not done enough and we won't miss him. Fakir made some impact and made defences work but is not fit enough. Can't see where new props are going to come from in the British game. Maybe there are some hungry ausies out there. From what I have seen of the up and coming young guns, they ain't ready. nosher
  • Score: 4

1:18pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Out of site says...

Gone down,gone down gone down come on bullocks sing out loud those of you that are left.
Gone down,gone down gone down come on bullocks sing out loud those of you that are left. Out of site
  • Score: -12

2:34pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Worstbus says...

What a surprise that the bullocks fans start to run down players when they leave.
What a surprise that the bullocks fans start to run down players when they leave. Worstbus
  • Score: -3

8:52pm Thu 24 Jul 14

BirchLane-1964 says...

No loyalty and no heart for our club, just adds weight to the fact these over rated players had no commitment so it's no wonder they threw the towel in knowing they'd jut pick up another club. They say Ah Van improved when he went to widnes, well it's no wonder, he had no commitment to us in the first place. And please lets not be applauding these players that are jumping ship. We had Stuart Fielden who didn't want to leave despite what Hood had us believe, yet the bulls fans turned on him as a judas even though he brought us many glories and is still one of the best props we have ever had. These poor average players couldn't even lace fielden's boots, so goodbye and good riddance Manu we'll see you in the play offs next season!!
No loyalty and no heart for our club, just adds weight to the fact these over rated players had no commitment so it's no wonder they threw the towel in knowing they'd jut pick up another club. They say Ah Van improved when he went to widnes, well it's no wonder, he had no commitment to us in the first place. And please lets not be applauding these players that are jumping ship. We had Stuart Fielden who didn't want to leave despite what Hood had us believe, yet the bulls fans turned on him as a judas even though he brought us many glories and is still one of the best props we have ever had. These poor average players couldn't even lace fielden's boots, so goodbye and good riddance Manu we'll see you in the play offs next season!! BirchLane-1964
  • Score: 1

10:05pm Thu 24 Jul 14

nosher says...

Just watched the second half of cas v hull. Andy lynch played the whole half and played out of his skin. That's what I call a SL prop. We ain't had one to lace his boots since he went.
Just watched the second half of cas v hull. Andy lynch played the whole half and played out of his skin. That's what I call a SL prop. We ain't had one to lace his boots since he went. nosher
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Thu 24 Jul 14

bradfordbronco says...

nosher wrote:
Just watched the second half of cas v hull. Andy lynch played the whole half and played out of his skin. That's what I call a SL prop. We ain't had one to lace his boots since he went.
The question should be why he didn't improve with us. He was probably at his peak then but played better before he arrived and better when he left.

The coaching at Bradford has been woeful since Elliot left. I hope Jimmy can bring in some decent assistants who understand the modern game. Only then will we get players playing up to and beyond their abilities rather than the constant under performances that we've had for many tears now
[quote][p][bold]nosher[/bold] wrote: Just watched the second half of cas v hull. Andy lynch played the whole half and played out of his skin. That's what I call a SL prop. We ain't had one to lace his boots since he went.[/p][/quote]The question should be why he didn't improve with us. He was probably at his peak then but played better before he arrived and better when he left. The coaching at Bradford has been woeful since Elliot left. I hope Jimmy can bring in some decent assistants who understand the modern game. Only then will we get players playing up to and beyond their abilities rather than the constant under performances that we've had for many tears now bradfordbronco
  • Score: 0

10:50pm Thu 24 Jul 14

nosher says...

It is the coaches job to get the best out of players. Something that has not happened recently. I agree with the earlier comment about ah van. He was very lazy and never looked interested. He is no world beater now, but is better than he was. I was never a big fan of Elliott's but he was better than owt since. I think Brian smith was the best since peter fox.
It is the coaches job to get the best out of players. Something that has not happened recently. I agree with the earlier comment about ah van. He was very lazy and never looked interested. He is no world beater now, but is better than he was. I was never a big fan of Elliott's but he was better than owt since. I think Brian smith was the best since peter fox. nosher
  • Score: 0

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