JOHN Kear predicts Rowan Milnes can be the future of Bradford Bulls for the next decade after allowing playmaker Dane Chisholm to leave.

The Australian’s loan move to Featherstone Rovers for the rest of the season has come as a shock to Odsal fans.

But Kear believes it is the right decision with a player who was not going to be kept on beyond this year.

READ MORE: Chisholm speaks after joining Rovers

The Bulls are now in the market for another half-back – but won’t hurry as they place their faith in the youthful combination of Milnes and Jordan Lilley.

And Kear can see academy product Milnes making an impact for many years to come.

He said: “I’ve got complete faith in him. I’m really impressed with everything he does.

“The thing that impresses me most is Rowan’s work ethic off the field. That’s why you know he’s going to achieve because he works so hard.

“You don’t invest as much as this club have in a top category academy and then not reap the fruits of your work.

“Half-backs are very rare, especially good young ones as the club found to their cost when Jake Trueman went to Castleford and you see what he’s done.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on Rowan but I think he can be just as good as Jake.

“I think Bradford have got a half-back in Rowan for the next eight to 10 years, if they look after him.

“It’s a matter of developing and working with him and making him better.”

Chisholm missed the Challenge Cup thriller against Fev because of a wedding. He recently returned from a knee injury which had restricted him to just three appearances in February – although he tweeted claiming that he had been “fit for some weeks now”.

Kear added: “We feel it’s the best decision for the club, the playing squad and for Dane.

“It’s something that’s been simmering but was finalised it after the game.

“He’s been unavailable for a number of reasons. Also, there’s been the fact that we’ve done well when he hasn’t been in the team.

“He is one of the highest paid players, so there are all those factors to take into account and it’s already been decided that we weren’t offering Dane another contract next year.

“He now has the opportunity to try and play for one at Featherstone.”

With Milnes and Lilley now seen as the top pairing, the Bulls will take their time to bring in another half as competition. Joe Keyes still faces some time out of action with his ongoing back issue.

“There’s nothing burning a hole in our pockets,” said Kear. “If any clubs read this and think they can inflate any prices, we won’t be paying over the odds.

“We know there’s areas we can improve upon but there are also areas we’ve got to keep working with.

“I honestly believe Rowan Milnes and Jordan Lilley can be an absolutely exceptional half-back partnership.

“Hopefully we can tie up Rowan long term and also perhaps make him full-time.

“All those factors were involved in the decision (to let Chisholm go).

“It’s not simply a question of ‘we don’t want him, we want him’. You’ve got to weigh everything up and that’s what we’ve done.

“I know some fans will agree and others will disagree. But I don’t think they’ve got access to all the facts we have.

“It was a management decision and we feel we’ve made the correct one.”

Following confirmation of his move to Featherstone, Chisholm tweeted: "Firstly I would like to apologise to the Bradford Bulls fans for not being able to let them know what was going on.

"I've been fit for some weeks now but not being selected means I had to look elsewhere. I want to thank you all for your support over the years. Nothing but love."

The tweet continued: "I would now like to thank Ryan Carr for giving me the opportunity to come and play for such a great club in Featherstone Rovers. His style of play will definitely get me back to playing my best footy."