MARK Dunning has warned the seven Bradford Bulls youngsters who have signed professional contracts that they still have a long road ahead of them.

The capture of Kieran Brining, Isaac Coleman, Ciaran Dickinson, Daniel Edwards, Layton Heywood, Daniel McGrath and Harry Shackleton was announced at the BullBuilder Summer Ball at Odsal Stadium.

Dunning, who coaches Bulls' under-16s, confessed about the teenagers: "They have done a tough two-year scholarship, but we don't moan about it at this club.

"We do things tough for a reason because it creates the character and creates the person that we are looking for to hopefully play first team at Bradford Bulls.

"These guys have earned the right now to move up to the under-19s, but that is as far as they have got and all that they have done.

"They have big challenges ahead to get into Leigh Beattie's team and then to push on from there but hopefully we will see some of them in John Kear's first team."

However, Dunning added of the seven: "I am absolutely delighted for them and for their families for the hard work they have put in, and big raps to the community clubs for the work they have done with them."

And Dunning can not only see progression, but also talent, and said: "There is a wide variety – some genuine pace, scarily quick, some real creativity and some middle units as well those who are going to do the tough stuff, and there is a great mix and great potential as well."

Bulls' head of youth John Bastian said of the 2018 crop: "We are delighted, and delighted how they have developed the last two years on our scholarship scheme.

"They are good people and want to achieve things in rugby league.

"They have certainly got lots of potential, they have started working really hard and have got their rewards.

"They are on the early part of the track and there is a long way to go but they are certainly doing the right things at the moment."

Bastian praised Dunning but also credited the BullBuilder programme and the club for the consistency that they have shown in the staff.

He said: "Mark deserves a lot of credit, as do his staff. He has not only been working with the under-16s, but also the under-19s and has been doing a lot of analysis for the first team.

"They have worked with these young fellas two or three times a week for the past two years, and they have got their reward.

"The players and coaches deserve a lot of credit for what they have done.

"We have had a consistent team for four years now in Leigh Beattie, Mark Dunning, Robin Sharp and myself.

"We have added some people and we have subtracted very few, and having that consistency has certainly helped.

"We know how each other work. We will challenge each other, we will debate a little bit but the majority of the time it is really positive, and that helps to influence the development of the kids that we got on board.

"BullBuilder helps everybody. With our under-19s and under-16s, we have about probably got about 70 juniors, and they will all benefit from the hard work that BullBuilder does and the money that they raise, and we will try and spend the money wisely and help players develop."

Shackleton, one of the seven players to gain an under-19 contract, said: "I have been playing for seven years and want to take that next step and hopefully I will be signing a first-team contract soon.

"It is about digging in for your team-mates and putting effort in."

His fellow graduate Brining added: "I am absolutely over the moon. From being a young kid, it is all that I have dreamt about – signing a professional contract.

"I feel it is well deserved for the effort that I have put in over the past two years."