BULLS skipper Steve Crossley has lauded the facilities at new training base Horsfall, saying it has improved the quality of what they are able to do on and off the ball.

He said he and his teammates are champing at the bit to get back to match action, admitting it is a blow that they have gone so long without game time due to coronavirus.

The 31-year-old enthused: “Everybody is looking forward to the season, as we’ve all lost a year from our careers, and Horsfall is a great place for us to train at to get ready for that.

“Even at the best of times, grass pitches in the winter are a test, as you’re running through a bog or trying to do skills with a wet and slippy ball.

“So the 4G at Avenue is great, it’s a good place to hone our skills and it’s good for trying out new plays on.

“It’s also ideal because we’re not running on a heavy pitch any more.”

Keighley Cougars’ head coach Rhys Lovegrove raised the point earlier this week about a potentially injury-ravaged season, given the lack of preparation time.

But Crossley said: “We obviously don’t have the same pre-season as normal, but credit to our conditioning coach.

“We’ve been given good home programmes and the club have trusted us with those. Everybody looks well at this stage and is feeling sharp.”

A concern raised by John Kear has been Bulls’ hybrid squad, meaning the club have several players who have other jobs, and are possibly more likely to be exposed to coronavirus.

This includes Crossley, who runs a cleaning business, where he works with vice-captain Sam Hallas.

On that, the Bradfordian said: “It’s not too bad for me and Sam, as we work outdoors and aren’t really face-to-face with our clients.

“Some of the other lads aren’t as fortunate as that, but their companies will have guidelines in place.

“We’re just being as careful as we can at the club, we’ve doubled the amount of testing, and so far, all players and staff have come back negative.”

Speaking about what Bulls have been allowed to do since returning to training, Crossley said: “It’s been good to be back.

“We’ve had to follow the guidelines on what we can do, but the physio and the strength and conditioning team have put in all the processes and protocols needed and it’s going smoothly.

“When we came back in mid-January we were only in for two days and couldn’t really do any gym work, so we had to stick to our own programmes.

“But we’re in three times now and can do stuff in the gym, provided we sanitise what we use after each use.

“There’s still minimal contact training though, as the rules don’t allow too much face-to-face stuff.

“There’s lots of skills stuff we can do at least.”