FUTURE stars at the Bradford Bulls have received an early Christmas present after supporters raised thousands of pounds to buy the club brand new gym equipment.

Bradford Bulls Supporters’ Trust - BullBuilder - donated more than £2,000 to purchase a new set of free weights for the club.

The dumbbells will be used by the club’s academy and scholarship players to help them build strength and muscle mass to make them stronger and better players as they aim to break into the club’s first-team.

BullBuilder bought the new set of weights to replace the club’s old set which was worn out.

John Bastian, head of youth at the Bulls, said the weights will be a great benefit to the academy.

He said: “The new weights are rubber and range from ten kilograms to 40 kilograms and are very durable.

“Our strength and conditioning coach Chris Black chose them and managed to get a really good deal.

“They’re primarily for use by junior players to help with upper body work but can also be used for rehabilitation.

“Chris Black and Adam Simpson are two very experienced strength and conditioning coaches and have been building strong programmes for all the players. These programmes are very important for the young players to help them improve as they grow. It’s a slow process and can’t be rushed.”

The academy have been in gruelling pre-season training for more than a month so far to prepare them for the upcoming 2018 season.

Mr Bastian said he is pleased with their progress: “People ask where we are compared with last year and we’re really flying at the moment,” he added.

“There is no comparison. I think it’s now time to move on and look forwards at the good things we’re doing.

“The new weights will help the players progress even further.”

Strength and conditioning coach Chris Black, who formerly worked forat the Bulls’ rival Leeds Rhinos, thanked the Supporters’ Trust for its support.

He said: “Just like in any profession, having unreliable or faulty equipment is far from ideal.

“Thanks to BullBuilder we’re able to secure top of the range dumbbells. These will really help the young players reach their physical potential and support them through their journey to the first team.

“I would personally like to thank BullBuilder for their continued support in the development of the next generation of Bulls players.”

BullBuilder members will have the chance to see the kit in useir investment being put to use aton a visit to the Tong Training Centre next month when it holds its annual general meeting.

Mr Bastian added: “We’re really looking forward to seeing members of BullBuilder and it will be a pleasure to show them around.

“They will have a chance to watch the players use the equipment and ask questions. They’ve invested heavily and it’s very greatly appreciated by all the juniors and everyone else at the Bradford Bulls.”