BULLS head coach John Kear has admitted being a big name might help when it comes to persuading players to join or stay with the club, but he insists there is far more to it than that.

Kear has been coaching in the top two tiers of rugby league for nearly 30 years, he has had two famous Challenge Cup successes with Sheffield (1998) and Hull (2005), he has led England to a World Cup semi-final (2000), and he is now a popular pundit for the BBC.

New signings and existing players often reference Kear as a reason for wanting be part of the Bulls project, and the 67-year-old said: “I’d like to think my name and standing within the game helps.

“But what you really have to do above anything else is develop a rapport before you sign anyone.

“You meet them and speak to them several times and get a sense from that.

“You’ve got to target the right names and make sure the move works for each party.”

He added: “As an older coach, that relationship between you and the players does change.

“I’ve explained to my assistant Mark Dunning (who is a younger, more active coach now), that he’ll find that the longer he stays in the game too.”

As for how long Kear will stay in the game himself, he insists he is not quite done yet, saying: “It’s very simple.

“I’ve always said if I don’t enjoy it any more, I’m not going to do it, but I’m thoroughly content here at Bulls, and as long as the club want me, I’ll do what I can for them.

“I’m enjoying it with this current group, and with all the fresh faces we’ve brought in, it’s re-energised and invigorated everyone.”

Kear will be able to count on club captain Steve Crossley to drill into those new recruits what it means to play for Bradford, but there are plenty of off-field signings he can rely on to keep them in shape too.

Bulls have brought in a new fitness and conditioning duo in Kane Daniels and Joel Fulford, while Tom Baker joins the Odsal club as head of medical services, where he will be assisted by the returning Aaron Scholes.

Asked if if bringing that quartet in was an underrated part of Bulls’ off-season recruitment, Kear said: “It was immensely important to bring them in, as we felt it was an area we needed to improve on as a club.

“They’ve improved us already in pre-season and they are top quality at what they do.

“I’m excited to see what they have to offer the playing group going forward.”