THE Bulls have been warned to pull their weight from day one to feature in John Kear’s Championship plans.

The full-time members of the squad are back at Tong this morning for the start of the club’s pre-season schedule.

The part-timers return tomorrow while those recently involved with international duty are being given extra time off.

Those who are back in the gym have had six weeks off since sealing promotion with the play-off final win over Workington.

But while Kear is away on a short break, his coaching and medical staff will be carefully monitoring fitness levels to ensure the players are in good shape to start.

Kear said: “They had two weeks with no exercise and then they’ve had a programme to do at home.

“So hopefully the weight will be acceptable to what we want and the lean body mass. Then we can just crack on.

“If not, they’ll have to do extras to bring their weight down to what we feel is the right level.”

Kear doesn’t expect any of his players to return out of condition – but has laid down a marker for anyone who has let their self-discipline go.

“If they do, they won’t get in the team because we’ve got competition for places in every position,” he added.

“That’s a comfort we’ve got. We’ve got a big squad and a competitive one.

“It isn’t like last year when we were scratching round for players at certain times in pre-season. We’re very comfortable with the squad we’ve assembled.

“Places have to be earned and this will be one way of doing it - how they come back and how they apply themselves in pre-season.”