JOHN Kear does not view Hunslet as a hindrance and insists the Bulls are doing the right thing to play them in pre-season.

The trip to the South Leeds Stadium on January 5, agreed when George Flanagan joined the Bulls from Hunslet, was added just over a week ago to the friendlies list.

Kear had an issue with the number of warm-up games his sides faced last year.

The Bulls played six times before the campaign kicked off, including the Yorkshire Cup, and he felt that had an impact with their slow start in the Championship.

The Hunslet trip means Kear’s squad will play five times before the new season-opener against London on February 2.

But the coach is happy to carry out the added date.

Kear said: “I’m okay with it because the owners have been very principled.

“The commitment was made by the previous owner with regards to (playing) York and Hunslet.

“We’ve got to fulfil them. We can’t just write it off and say we’re going to take no notice.

“You’ve got to be a club with honour and that’s what we are trying to do now. I think it’s the right thing to do.

“But it isn’t five pre-season friendlies as such, because nobody will feature in the Hunslet game who plays on Boxing Day (at Castleford).

“Everybody in the first team and reserve squads will play in those first two. The fans will be able to have a look at them all.

“And how they play may lend to how the team is evolving after that.

“I’ve seen lot of players who have wangled their way into the team with effort in pre-season.

“Once they’ve got in there, they’ve just not given their spot up.

“If we have two or three who do that, then I’ll be more than happy.”