JOHN Kear has reiterated the Bulls’ stance of sticking by their youth.

Bradford will head into their 2020 campaign with a trimmed-down squad from before.

That means a bigger opportunity for those coming up from the club’s famed academy system – a policy that Kear fully endorses.

“If you’ve got a pathway that you believe in, then you’ve got to play them,” he said.

“We do believe in it. We trust the recruitment and the development strategy so we’ll stand by it and I think it will pay dividends.

“When we get back into Super League, you can’t just do that with a first team.

“You’ve got to have an academy and reserves for a proper sustainable club at that level.

“That’s why we’re going down this route.

“Obviously there’s an expense attached but it does mean that young men will get an opportunity and I’ve no issue with that.”

Despite all the financial uncertainty which forced Andrew Chalmers into selling the club over the post-season, the youth system was never going to be under threat.

Kear views it as a crucial part of the club’s long-term recovery.

The Bulls coach added: “We’re not running an academy just because the RFL tell us to.

“We see that it’s the correct way to develop players and, in the long run, it’s an economically-sensible way to do it.

“You’ve got to stand by your principles, which is what the owners are doing with the extra pre-season games and what we’re doing with our development strategy.

“You can get promotion with a few real quality players and a fair bit of brass.

“But when you get to Super League, you dispense with it all then and buy a new team.

“Well that isn’t sustainable and I’m sure the fans have had enough of that.

“What we’re trying to do is that when we get up there, we can stay there.

“You’ve planned and prepared for it with the structures that you’ve put in place.

“No doubt about it, that’s the right way. Everyone’s agreed upon that strategy, whether it’s the owners or the performance staff.”

Thomas Doyle, Cobi Green, Alix Stephenson, Cameron Berry and Elliot Culling were among those to be promoted to the first team last season.

Skipper Steve Crossley is backing the young guns to be ready to enter the fray once more.

He said: “It’s going to be a long season and we won’t go with a massive squad so some of these youngsters will get their chance.

“If I can do my bit to help them come through the ranks and the academy as I have done myself, then I’m all for it.”