Bulls coach Francis Cummins has admitted he is “excited” about the potential of his young squad heading into 2013.
The rookie boss is gearing up for his first season at the helm and has assembled a 27-strong group with a youthful, talented and local heart.
The inclusion of teenagers John Bateman, Adam O’Brien, Oliver Roberts, Sam Wood and Curtis Naughton means Cummins’ squad has an average age of less than 24.
Several other home-grown players such as Elliott Whitehead, Tom Olbison, Danny Addy and James Donaldson have progressed through the youth ranks to become established first-team players.
Cummins is confident the future is bright at Odsal, provided the players take his messages on board about not wasting their rich potential.
He said: “There are people within our squad who really have got the opportunity to progress. How far they go will be determined by the players themselves.
“If they are willing to make sacrifices and really go for it, then they can achieve things because they have the ability.
“The average age of our squad is 24, so it’s very young and that excites me. We’ve got some cracking players and these lads want to play for Bradford.”
A Christmas visit to Bradford Royal Infirmary this week, where the Bulls squad handed out festive gifts to children, gave Cummins the opportunity to reinforce his message.
“I talked to the players about how lucky they are,” he explained.
“They have to take this opportunity because there are people less fortunate than them who won’t ever get these kind of chances in life.
“They have this opportunity to invest in themselves and who knows where they can go?
“It’s not going to happen overnight but these are exciting times because I’m seeing these young men change.
“We’ve still got some way to go, of course, and the tough tests come when we start coming up against opposition in pre-season.”
The Bulls finish for a ten-day Christmas break this weekend before resuming pre-season training on January 3.
Meanwhile, Adrian Morley, who helped the Bulls to Grand Final glory in 2005, will be signing copies of his book ‘Moz: My Story’ in the Coral Stand at Odsal tonight from 6.45pm.
Bulls legend Robbie Hunter-Paul will be signing copies of his book ‘Robbie: Rugby Warrior – The Autobiography’ between 7.30pm and 9pm tomorrow.