BRADFORD Dudley Hill’s first team manager Steve Wright feels the club have coped admirably with a dearth of rugby league action in 2020, but says he fears others could suffer.

They have been able to bring money in through opening the clubhouse bar from early July and it looks as if they will retain virtually all of their squad.

But other clubs don’t necessarily have those twin luxuries, which could be a problem, if as Wright predicts, there won’t be any more action until next March.

He said: "There was talk about having something along the lines of localised friendlies, but no clubs have been in contact with us or vice versa.

"I’ve seen on social media that West Bowling want to play a charity friendly against us again on December 27 but that’s the first I’d heard of it and we’d have to get in touch with the league to okay it.

"I’d need to speak to the players about it but it’s their decision, it may be too soon.

"I don’t think we’ll see anything (game-wise) until next March though, when the season is due to start.

"We’re trying to keep our lads involved and what’s good is the league have said that any bans that were due to be carried over into next season have been quashed, to allow clubs to have more players available.

"I do worry though, after all this, that players will be lost to their clubs and the game."

But Wright added: "No one has said they’re not coming back to play for Dudley Hill as far I’m aware. When we first locked down, there was a talk about localised leagues in the summer and the lads were quite excited.

"But then we stopped giving them updates because nothing was happening. We'll just put something in our group chat and see what everyone's thoughts are when we do play.

"We're quite a tight knit group, like West Bowling, so I think we'll be fine for players, but then there's teams like Crosfields, who turned up for the first game of the season against us with only 14 men.

"Clubs that were short to start with may suffer but I hope not. Hopefully, people will have missed rugby league and realised they need it in their lives and want to come back."

It was a shame the season ended so quickly for Dudley Hill, who had built up some nice momentum.

Wright said: "The lads had kicked things off really well. It was the best pre-season we'd had for a long time and then we'd put in a couple of good performances.

"We'd shown in the last game of the previous season against (champions) West Bowling, particularly in the first half, that we were more than a match for them, but we ended up losing and just missed out on the chance of promotion.

"That meant we were all geared up for a big year to try and go up, but it's not turned out how we'd hoped."

But Dudley Hill have at least been able to make the best of a bad situation, unlike many other community rugby league clubs.

Wright explained: "The firsts are our main source of income, with fans paying in and giving us takings at home games, but we're a little different to other clubs, certainly those in Bradford, in that we've got our own clubhouse to run.

"So on July 4, when they reopened the pubs, we did that too and plenty of people have turned up and put money behind the bar.

"It took a massive effort from the likes of the chairman and (club stalwart) Neil Wall and his partner to sort it all out, but having that to offer has helped with many of the costs at the club."

And an exciting project is restarting at Dudley Hill. West Bowling have already seen youngsters return to training, and are about to launch a ladies and girls team, but their Bradford rivals are doing their bit too.

Wright explained: "Hopefully our Tiny Tots programme at Dudley Hill will do well.

"We lost nearly all of our juniors a couple of years ago due to some conflict within the club, but we've started up again with an under 7s team, which my son is part of.

"They entered a new league for 2020, but that all got knocked on the head.

"But on October 3, following all the Covid guidelines, we're reopening our juniors up.

"We'll just start with the under 7s, but they'll then move up an age group and we'll have new under 7s again.

"We've changed the coaching structure for the better and there's been plenty of interest, from the kids already here who've now said their friends are coming and from parents of kids who've not been before, so we're positive about that."