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Brett Kearney can be Bradford Bulls mentor for youngster Curtis Naughton
Bulls star Brett Kearney has a key role in assisting with the development of rookie full back Curtis Naughton.
That is the view of Paul Medley, who has seen Naughton, Oliver Roberts and Sam Wood promoted into the first-team squad ahead of next season.
The three teenagers are expected to feature in the Bulls’ under-19s side in 2013 but are now fully-fledged members of the senior squad.
Medley believes Naughton will benefit from working closely with Kearney – who enjoyed an outstanding 2012 campaign, weighing in with 15 tries and eight assists as well as proving an assured presence in defence.
“We want Curtis to train with Brett,” said the Bulls’ head of youth development.
“Obviously Brett’s got a lot of experience in the NRL and over here. We want him to help Curtis develop the parts of his game that need developing.
“There is a lot of learning to be done but Brett can certainly give him tips and advice on his positioning, starting points and how he applies himself.
“It will be great for him to learn from someone like Brett, who proved himself one of the best full backs in Super League last season.
“It’s about picking up good habits and learning the technical and tactical nuances of the game, which he can do from Brett and the coaches as well.”
Meanwhile, Bradford Bulls Foundation general manager Gareth Cook has paid tribute to Heath L’Estrange after the joint-captain accepted a role as ambassador of the charitable trust.
“Heath is a very engaging character and is always willing to get involved whenever he can,” said Cook. “I think it goes back to him growing up in Australia as a fan of rugby league. Now he’s a professional player, he’s keen to connect closely with the fans and get out there into the community.
“Heath does not just get involved in coaching camps, he wants to run them and get other Bulls players involved too.
“Hopefully, on the back of that kind of energy and enthusiasm, we can get even more community programmes up and running in and around Bradford.”
Bradford-based rugby league author Geoff Lee will be doing a signing session for his latest book ‘One Autumn’ in Waterstones in the city centre from 11am tomorrow.