WHEN something has been part of your life for over 20 years, it is hard to know what to do when it suddenly vanishes.

Bradford Bulls captain Steve Crossley has had to deal with this for the last six months.

The strapping prop has been involved in team sports for the majority of his life and has thoroughly missed the dressing room comradery in these uncertain times.

So much so, that it has got his juices flowing regarding a possible move into coaching, once the time comes to hang up the boots. His ideal destination is a predictable one.

Crossley said: "I started played rugby when I was 13, and football before that, so I have always been around a team environment all my life.

"When you have not got that, you realise just how much you miss it.

"Being away from the sport this long has made me think about my long term future.

"It has made me want to stay in the game and possibly go for my coaching badges.

"So, even when my playing days are over, at least I am still in the changing room doing my bit for the sport and hopefully Bradford."

The 30-year-old, who signed a two-year deal back in 2019 with the Bulls, is not finished yet though, and is excited about the squad John Kear is building going into the next campaign.

He added: "I am massively happy at how the squad is looking for next year. I think we have got a real strong case to go on a good run.

"The signings that we have made! Bringing in much-needed experience in the likes of Danny Brough and Aaron Murphy.

"We have made some great re-signings too.

"Young Ebon Scurr, who burst onto the scene at the start of this year, and young Tommy Doyle as well. They are two players for the future and we have been lucky to tie them down.

"John Kear has been a major factor in all those deals."

Despite the future being bright for his own club, Crossley does have fears that rugby league could be in trouble.

"I worry for the sport as a whole," the West Yorkshireman said.

"We need to fulfill as many fixtures as we can for the Sky Sports TV money. We need to make sure our sport survives.

"In these uncertain times, it is difficult for everyone.

"I know the Championship and League One do not really get the Sky Sports deal that Super League gets, so straight away we are on a bad run there.

"I feel sorry for the Super League players who are out of contract this year.

"There has been mass pay cuts too. Super League players are dropping down to the Championship or even having to go get a job.

"The sport is in a bit of a rut at the moment."

The prospect of getting out before the end of 2020 for Bradford took a major blow with the proposed Autumn tournament falling through earlier this month.

However, with news that the 1895 Cup may be expanded to ensure rugby can be played this winter, Crossley is chomping at the bit.

The Bradfordian said: "We knew as soon as they put an Autumn Cup competition forward, to put our names down straightaway.

"The coaches and backroom staff were confident that it was going to go ahead.

"As soon as everyone knew there were only four teams up for it, the writing was on the wall, it was looking highly unlikely that it was going to take place.

"It was disappointing. It took a long time for the RFL to let the teams know.

"We are just looking forward to getting back into training. It has been so long since the Wakefield game (March 14).

"The lads are eager to see each other and they want to get their bodies ready for all the contact we have missed out on.

"If we can get some games in before Christmas, and then during pre season that will be even better."