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Paul Medley lands key new Bradford Bulls position
Paul Medley has been confirmed as the coach of the Bulls’ new under-19s side.
The Rugby Football League decided to scrap the under-18s academy and under-20s Valvoline Cup competitions and replace them with a new under-19s division.
The overhaul of the competitions structure followed several months of uncertainty at the Bulls at the end of last year in the wake of the club’s financial crisis.
Stu Barrow, who coached the under-20s last season and also assisted the first-team, has since left the Bulls and Medley will now assume sole control of the new under-19s side.
Bulls coach Francis Cummins considered a number of candidates for the post but believes Medley is the best man for the job.
“Paul is already the club’s head of youth and we have talked extensively about how we want the club to be,” said Cummins.
“He’s very similar to me in terms of how he wants the game to be played and the values he has, so that’s huge for me.
“Furthermore, he’s got a relationship with the players already, which is more than half the job.”
Medley currently has no involvement in the Bulls’ first-team set-up but it is hoped that further down the line, possibly from next year, responsibilities for the under-19s coaching position will include assisting Cummins.
The Bulls coach currently has right-hand man Lee St Hilaire as his only full-time coach.
“We’ve got a long-term plan for that person who takes the under-19s from next year would be ideally someone to work with the first-team full time as well,” said Cummins.
“Meds, as head of youth, will be controlling it but he won’t have to do the coaching as well.
“If that didn’t happen, and we didn’t get anyone in again, I’d be more than happy for Meds to continue because he’s got the experience of coaching that age group anyway.”
Medley’s young charges will play Wakefield in their opening under-19s fixture at the Provident Stadium on Thursday. The match will kick off at 7.30pm.
Meanwhile, Cummins expects Heath L’Estrange and Jamie Langley to be passed fit for the Super League opener at home to Wakefield on Sunday but Luke Gale remains a serious doubt as he recovers from ankle surgery.