BULLS half-back duo Joe Keyes and Jordan Lilley have been a “revelation”, according to John Kear.

The experienced coach was thrilled with how well the pair combined during the latter stages of last season.

And he believes it is a partnership that can get even better going into the 2020 campaign.

Both Keyes and Lilley are among the 14 players already contracted for next year – a prospect that excites their boss.

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Kear said: “Their partnership has been a revelation in the last nine or 10 games. I think they dovetail pretty well.

“Joe is very much the organiser and the structure person and Jordan is the one who rolls his sleeves up, gets stuck in and brings energy and enthusiasm.”

Lilley, who made the move from Leeds Rhinos permanent in May, had struck up a fruitful understanding with Rowan Milnes before Keyes was finally fit to resume after his long-running back problems.

Lilley's consistent campaign saw him named T&A Bulls player of the year at last week’s club awards evening.

Kear felt he had earned the plaudits from supporters – and again expects him to kick on again next year.

He added: “We had Jordan’s review and gave him some targets to work on in the off-season.

“So hopefully he comes back even better than he has been.

“Anybody who has watched us will acknowledge that he’s made a massive contribution to what has been a very good season. He deserves any plaudits that he gets.”

The Bulls are targeting nine signings once the RFL embargo is lifted, which they hope will happen by the end of the month.

Kear has already identified Sam Hallas as one he wants to keep but he will also look to bring in more experience to work alongside the young core of the current squad.

But the coach insists they must be the right characters to join a tight-knit group.

He said: “You have to be very careful that the experienced players you bring in are the right type of people to lead them.

“I think we’ve got that with Steve Crossley and Jake Webster. Elliot Minchella is also a massive leader - and he’s only 23.”