Donaldson can sleep soundly again after tying up Bradford Bulls future (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
James Donaldson can sleep soundly again after tying up Bradford Bulls future
James Donaldson has put pen to paper on a new one-year deal with the Bulls, ending uncertainty over his future and the sleepless nights.
The highly-regarded back-rower, 21, was forced to wait as Francis Cummins began assembling a squad following his appointment at the end of the season.
It proved a stressful time for Donaldson, who becomes the last of the out-of-contract players to be handed a new deal, following in the footsteps of Chev Walker, Manase Manuokafoa, Jarrod Sammut and Danny Addy.
The Cumbrian has suffered two serious knee injuries but is now raring to go and will join up with the rest of the squad for pre-season training.
“I’ve held out for this deal for so long that it became all I thought about,” said Donaldson, who has been at the club for the past five years.
“It got to the stage where I started to lose sleep.
“It started to get a bit stressful for me, my mum and my girlfriend with me going on all the time.
“But I’m just glad to put pen to paper now and crack on with pre-season training.
“There were a few other options but there was nowhere else I wanted to be because I love Bradford.
“I love all the boys here and that’s the main reason I wanted to stay.”
Donaldson injured his knee during the win at Castleford on February 12 and a specialist revealed he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.
It ruled him out for the remainder of the season and followed a previous knee injury during Bradford’s Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat by Warrington in May 2010.
Donaldson said: “It’s like starting all over again now.
“I’ve done my knee twice but this is a clean slate.
“My body is feeling good and I can’t wait to get back in training and try and put things right again.”
Cummins, whose priority now is to sign a front-line prop, said he always wanted to get Donaldson back on board.
He explained: “Throughout this whole process I’ve had to be pretty honest with James because of the situation we’re in as a club.
“I always wanted to keep him because he’s got a great attitude and he’s fought back from two big injuries.
“He loves the club, which is a huge thing for me, and has known nothing but Bradford since he was 15.
“Things had to work out in other positions before we could offer him the chance to get his career back on track.
“Now he has finally put pen to paper I’m delighted.”