STEVE Ferres believes keeping Lee Gaskell was a major statement of intent from the Bulls and tipped the stand-off to "frighten" the life out of Championship defences next year.

Gaskell has underlined his class in recent weeks and scored a delightful hat-trick in Sunday's defeat at Castleford.

He recently signed a new two-year deal to stay at Odsal and managing director Ferres said: "It was difficult to keep him but, to be fair to Lee, he didn't start looking around elsewhere.

"Once he had a deal on offer from us, he was happy to take it.

"It was a crucial signing in terms of making a statement of intent and keeping a player of that quality obviously attracts players of similar quality.

"Lee has the ability to frighten defences and he showed that on Sunday with the outstanding tries he scored.

"His running game is paramount to what we do and what we'll be looking to do going forward next season."

Ferres confirmed that the Bulls remain on the look-out for a replacement for Castleford-bound Luke Gale.

"We're still in the market for a scrum half at the moment but we're not going to panic," he said.

"It's obviously a crucial position but we've got Jake Mullaney who can play there and has done so before.

"We've also got young Adam Brook, so while we are looking to get another player in that position, we're not close at the moment."

Bradford are to stage a second 'Evening with the Bulls' following the recent event at Cedar Court.

It will be held at Odsal next Thursday (September 11) at 7pm, with the Bulls expected to announce more signings.

"It'll be an extremely important event from the club's point of view and allow us to outline our plans going forward," said Ferres.

The event will take place in a specially-erected marquee and free food will be served on the night.