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Mick Potter putting Bradford Bulls before himself during hour of need
Gary Tasker has paid tribute to Mick Potter following his decision to coach the Bulls on a voluntary basis again ahead of next week’s derby at Leeds.
Potter and the coaching staff made redundant by administrator Brendan Guilfoyle returned to work without pay during last weekend’s win over London Broncos.
And with no sign of a new coach being installed, Potter and his staff have offered their services once more – much to the delight of interim chief executive Tasker, who is himself working on an unpaid basis.
The ABC consortium, prospective new owners of the Bulls, are understood to be fully aware of the strength of feeling from players and fans towards reinstating Potter in his old job should a takeover be completed.
Tasker is certainly a fan of the Australian, who was in situ at Tong yesterday preparing for next Friday’s trip to Headingley.
“With Mick, you’re not only dealing with a top-quality coach but also a top-quality individual,” said Tasker.
Mick (Potter) has a deep understanding of the sport – not only how it’s being played but how it’s developing and where it’s going in the futureGary Tasker
“He’s selfless and that’s refreshing in sport; to see someone who is willing to put the bigger picture ahead of themselves.
“That’s the sort of bloke he is and he’s not changed in all the years I’ve known him.”
Tasker was with the Bulls between 1982 and 2000 and was general manager during the club’s glory years.
He worked with Potter during the Australian’s first spell at Odsal, when he cut his teeth as an assistant to Matty Elliott between 1996 and 1999.
“I’ve had a close relationship with Mick since he arrived in Bradford in the nineties for his first spell at the club,” explained Tasker.
“It continued when I worked at the RFL and spent a lot of time on the Catalan project.
“Mick worked miracles during his time at Catalan in what was then an under-resourced and new franchise.
“He absolutely galvanised things together in the south of France and, typically of him, he found ways to get round the issues he faced.
“Staggeringly, he got Catalan to third in the competition one year and to the Challenge Cup final the following season.
“That’s testimony to how smart Mick is. In my 30 years in the game, he’s one the shrewdest people I’ve met.
“He has a deep understanding of the sport – not only how it’s being played but how it’s developing and where it’s going in the future.
“During my time at the RFL, I also had reason to deal with Mick when he was at St Helens. In both his seasons there, he got Saints to the Grand Final, so this is a guy who really knows what he’s doing.”
Tasker was Potter’s partner when they played squash together during their original spell at the Bulls.
He said: “Although I had a bit more craft and guile, Mick’s fitness and determination made sure that he won just about every game we played!”