JOHN Kear was never worried about losing Joe Keyes to a rival club.

The Ireland international penned a new full-time deal last week to keep him at Odsal for the next two seasons.

There had been rumours throughout the last campaign about the 23-year-old’s future - with Halifax thought to have been keen on him.

But Kear had no concerns that Keyes could be going elsewhere.

He said: “Other teams would be right to watch him because he’s a good player. But I was really confident he would stay and I’m very glad it’s sorted.

“Joe’s still comparatively young for a half-back and certainly improved last year.

“I fully expect him to improve further in the next two years and become a really established part of the Bulls side.

“I’m absolutely delighted he has extended his deal – and I’m delighted that he’s full time as well.

“We can work on the fine details of his game in order to help him progress.”

The half-back, one of several current squad members to be tied down since the end of the season, believes the switch to playing full-time will benefit his own fitness after a couple of injury absences as the Bulls climbed straight back from League One.

His head coach added: “I would agree with that and obviously the more times we get Joe out on the field, the better we’ll be.

“We’re going to have a very good squad indeed.

“We’ll have quantity with quality and I can’t wait for next season to get underway. Let’s see where we are when we challenge the other Championship teams.”