BULLS are on the lookout for a new scholarship head coach, with the popular Ryan Hunkin departing the role ahead of 2022.

There are no ill feelings, with Hunkin explaining: "I handed in my notice so I could spend more time with my family.

"It was taking too much of my time up, and I just couldn't make it fit in alongside my day job of working for the Bradford Bulls Foundation going forward.

"I'm a development officer there, looking after our primary school delivery, the England Talent Pathway and mental health programmes, and I felt that was suffering with the time I had to put into the scholarship.

"But I had a great time in charge, and I had a great mentor in Leigh Beattie, so I've learnt a lot that I can take back with me to the community game.

"They're a great set of lads on the scholarship programme, and given all the coaches I've worked with that are still there, the youngsters are in a good place."

Marcus Green (middle), Jaden Barraclough (hooker), Jayden Myers (outside back) and Lewis Camden (full-back/half-back) all signed first-team deals with Bulls in October, having come straight from the academy.

And Hunkin said: "The goal for the academy/scholarship is 100 per cent to have them playing in the Bulls first team one day.

"Lewis and (fellow academy graduate) Sam Arundel were both in the squad that was due to face Halifax on Boxing Day, which gives you an idea of the playing standards within the academy."

And it is not just Bulls' young guns that Hunkin has been looking out for of late, with his West Bowling outfit also containing plenty of up and coming talent.

As head coach of the National Conference League club's first team, Hunkin is delighted to see the league structure return to normal for 2022, with his side back in Division One.

He said: "We've been craving a return to normal.

"When the fixtures for the regionalised leagues came out in 2021, we thought it would be really testing for us, but we went on a really good run to the play-off quarter-finals.

"I think the move to Horsfall gave us added impetus and energy on that front, and hopefully we can keep that going forward into 2022.

"We've got a tough first four weeks when the league season begins in March, including our biggest derby in that division at home to Stanningley on the opening day, and we have targets for that opening set of games."

Stanningley will be Bowling's first big game of 2022, as they are not in the Challenge Cup this season.

Hunkin said: "I'm not sure why that is, although there were only a certain amount of community clubs who could enter.

"It's unfortunate, as we've used that as our pre-season in the past, so we've just had to get other fixtures planned.

"We're due to play Batley Boys at Horsfall on February 12, and we've spoken to Queensbury as we'd love to get games at ours, and their place with the great new clubhouse, arranged.

"It would be nice to make a day of it, where our juniors, seconds and firsts all face each other."

- Interested applicants for the Bulls scholarship head coach role should email jobs@bradfordbulls.co.uk, with a covering letter and CV, by Friday, January 7, 2022.

A detailed description of the role, and what is required, can be found on the news section of Bulls' club website.