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Bradford Bulls set to unveil Francis Cummins as head coach at morning news conference
Francis Cummins is set to be appointed as Bulls coach today on the recommendation of Mick Potter, who believes his former assistant is being rewarded for his “loyalty and honesty” during a traumatic campaign.
Cummins has served as Potter’s assistant during the past two seasons following a previous spell at Leeds Rhinos, working under Tony Smith and Brian McClennan after his playing career was cut short by injury in 2005.
The former Headingley favourite has long held ambitions to become a head coach in his own right and will now be handed that opportunity following Potter’s decision not to accept a new contract offer to stay at Odsal .
Potter instead recommended 35-year-old Cummins to new owners Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe, with confirmation of his appointment expected at an 11am news conference.
The outgoing coach feels Cummins’ elevation from assistant to the top job is the natural progression after two seasons working together.
“Helping Franny to develop as a coach was part of my job specification and role when I came in,” said Potter.
“I told the previous regime who appointed me that I didn’t want to be here for a long time. I told them I wanted to do two or three years and then bring someone through while I’m here.
“When the club have people here now that can take the organisation forward, my job is done, but Franny is here and is ready to become a head coach.
“Franny knows the players that are left here, he knows the structure, he knows the system and everything about the place. As a person he’s honest, hard-working and he’s loyal.”
It is not yet known how Potter’s other assistant coach – Lee St Hilaire – and the likes of Paul Medley and Stu Barrow will fit into the new set-up.
When administrator Brendan Guilfoyle made the entire coaching staff redundant on July 2, Cummins was contacted by former Bulls coach Brian Noble about the prospect of working as his assistant.
He turned the offer down and came back into position along with Potter, albeit on an unpaid basis, for the remainder of the campaign.
Potter said: “It showed that he’s honest and loyal to the people he’s working with, no matter what was thrown at him.
“He could have taken a job back with the administrator on pay. He chose not to do that at that particular time because he saw it as the wrong thing to do.
“And it was his choice. That’s the kind of guy he is. It will stand him in good stead for the future.
“The players will respect him for what he’s done in the past. When times get tough, and they will in the near future, they can trust his judgment and know he’s an honest coach.”
Khan and Sutcliffe are keen to hit the ground running by launching a season-ticket campaign and assembling a squad for 2013.
It is understood that interim chief executive Gary Tasker will not be taking the position on a permanent basis, although he is expected to help the club’s new owners on a consultancy basis in the coming months.