JAMES Mendeika is thinking of a career change after being released by Bradford Bulls.

The 25-year-old centre has been in a full-time rugby environment for seven years and wants to chill out for a while before hopefully becoming a strength and conditioning coach.

Mendeika, capped eight times by Ireland, said: "There were discussions with the club about whether I was going to get a contract, but I have been told that I am not now so I will be looking somewhere else.

"It has obviously been a pretty turbulent year with regards to the ups and downs that have gone on at the club, and the financial stability of rugby isn't very certain at the moment for a lot of players, so I will be looking at areas outside of rugby to start off with just to get some security for myself, my family and my partner."

However, the former Warrington Wolves and Featherstone Rovers player won't be throwing his kit in a skip anytime soon.

Mendeika, who has scored an impressive 44 tries in 79 career appearances but isn't involved in the Bulls' final game of the season at home to Rochdale Hornets tomorrow, confessed: "My boots haven't been hung up by any stretch of the imagination and I will be looking for a club, but my priority is to get some sort of financial security.

"I can't put my family through what I put them through at the start of last year where I went three months without payment.

"I had just bought a new house with my partner, and I need some financial security for the next little bit."

Mendeika, who scored 11 tries in 17 games while on dual registration at Swinton Lions and an even more impressive 21 in 22 games for Fev, explained why he is leaning towards strength and conditioning (s&c) for the next phase of his career.

He said: "I have a masters in s&c with applied sports science, and a couple of qualifications in s&c – a role that Ben Nicholson fulfils at the club at the minute."

Mendeika, who has scored nine tries in 32 matches for the Bulls, added: "You don't start with the first team, especially being 25.

"You probably start going into academies and stuff, so whether there are any roles there I don't know.

"I think with the experience that I have from the playing side, I could add a lot to the youth coming through, and I have learnt a lot under John Bastian at the club.

"I have followed him around at Warrington and Featherstone and know the way that he works, and I think that I could do a lot with s&c with the kids, whether that be at Bradford or at another club."

However, his dream job in strength and conditioning wouldn't be in rugby league.

The Bury-born winger confessed: "Long-term there would be nothing better as a Manchester United fan to be the s&c coach at Manchester United – if that is going I would take that one!"

Glad that he played as much this season as he has considering his injury-riddled 2016, Mendeika admitted: "The form of the team coincided with a bit of off and on form from myself.

"I have played a fair number of games – 17, which is not a bad amount – and I have missed a couple through injury and a couple through not being selected, so it has not been too bad on that front to get back to playing again after not playing too much last year.

"There have been many ups and downs – probably more downs than there have been ups – but it is nice to finish on a high, and the boys have done well in the past couple of weeks and we have managed to pick up four wins in five matches, which has been good for the fans too to give them a lift going into whatever next season holds."