VILA Halafihi believes the "unbelievable" Odsal fan base have a key role to play in resurrecting the Bulls in 2018.

Halafihi is one of 21 players announced for next year as part of a hectic recruitment drive since last season ended, with preparations stepping up for the return to training on November 1.

But it is the "18th man" that Halafihi feels could be the most significant in the club's aim to blast their way out of League One.

Fans have been boosted by the news that so many of the previous squad have been willing to stick with the Bulls despite being relegated.

Halafihi, whose performances excelled after a switch to the centres in the closing weeks of the season, knows the team can bank on strong support once more.

He said: "The fans have been unbelievable. Going through the administration, you would have thought that they would have dropped off the bandwagon through no fault of their own – but it has been the complete opposite.

"They have been the 18th man on game day, cheering us on. They have been as loud as they first were when we were in the Championship.

"There is a solid rock of fans that are always there for the club and it is great to know they are part of the team just as much as we are."

Halafihi enjoyed showing his versatile side by switching from hooker to second row and centre and finished the Championship campaign with four tries in his last eight games.

He said: "It has been nice – something different. Both at second row and at centre, I get a little bit more involved and I managed to get a few tries there, which is always good."

George Milton yesterday became the latest capture when the former England academy forward signed on a two-year deal from Hull KR.

Jon Magrin is also thought to have been in discussions about the possibility of returning to the club next season, although Omari Caro and Oscar Thomas are not expected to be back.