ADAM O’Brien is determined to establish himself as a regular 80-minute hooker after becoming the latest player to commit himself to the Bulls.
The highly-regarded 21-year-old, who progressed through the ranks at Odsal, has given head coach Jimmy Lowes a major boost by penning a new two-year deal.
O’Brien, who made his debut as a 17-year-old at Huddersfield in March 2011, has played the full 80 minutes in the last three games against Huddersfield, Wigan and Leeds.
With Matt Diskin expected to make an announcement shortly on his future plans, O’Brien looks set to emerge as the Bulls’ main man next season.
He said: “Jimmy has come in and wanted an 80-minute hooker.
“He has given me a chance to perform in the last few weeks and I’ve taken my chance, so now I’ve been offered a new contract to stay for another two years and I’m really happy.
“Hopefully, we can push on now and get back into Super League after a tough year in the Championship. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
O’Brien said he had never even considered the prospect of jumping ship after revelling in the added responsibility Lowes has given him.
“Leeds was the third game on the trot where I had played the full 80 minutes,” said O’Brien, who did his scholarship at Wigan before joining Bradford as a 16-year-old.
“It’s been tough and a big learning curve, so I need to get my body used to it, but I’m really enjoying it.
“At the beginning of the year I was only getting the odd 20 minutes here and there but with Disko struggling with injuries, I’ve had more opportunities.
“It’s probably at the back end of the game where I feel it most, but I think the more I do it the more my body will get used to it and be more efficient.
“I don’t know what Disko’s plans are but he has taught me a lot and I’ll never forget that.
“If it’s his time to stop, then hopefully I can push on and be as good as him and Jimmy.
“Having Jimmy as my coach is massive for me. I’ve had coaches who have played in different positions but Jimmy was a hooker and the standard he played at was immense.
“He was a legend at Bradford Bulls and is giving me tips and telling me what he wants from me.
“Hopefully I can push forward now and become one of those Bradford legends like Jimmy was.”
O’Brien said he was delighted to join Lee Gaskell, Dale Ferguson, Tom Olbison and Adam Sidlow in staying loyal to the Bulls after the club’s relegation.
He added: “My focus was always to stay here.
“When we were relegated, the club said they wanted to offer me a contract and I was happy to stay.
“I’ve been here since I was 16 and there was no reason for me to leave. Bradford have given me an opportunity and I’m happy here.”
Head coach Lowes said: “I’m really pleased to be have secured Adam for at least the next couple of seasons.
“He is a player with masses of potential and has all of the tools required to be a success. His recent performances speak volumes about just how good Adam is.
“He completed his third 80-minute outing last week against Leeds and showed his quality. Adam is the kind of player I like to work with.
“He is very brave and is improving with every minute he plays. I believe he will have a big future in the game, so ensuring he stayed with us was vital.”