AHEAD of Bulls’ first game of 2022 this afternoon, general manager Tracey Erby had this to say:

Firstly, can I offer a very Happy New Year to all of our friends and partners as we enter a very important year for the club.

I should start by apologising for any inconvenience caused by the postponement of our Boxing Day fixture.

No one was more disappointed that ourselves as we were all looking forward to some live action to blow away the festive excesses.

We truly did everything we could to get the fixture on particularly after the sacrifices the players made over Christmas to ensure they were ready to play.

Anyway, we move forward and it makes us all even more keen to welcome old and new friends to Odsal for our Batley game this afternoon.

At last we will be able to see our new recruits in Bulls shirts for the first time against the redoubtable opponents who ended our season last September.

While often unfairly considered to be unfashionable, Batley are one of the league’s best run clubs, frequently overachieving.

Under long-serving chairman Kevin Nicholas, the club has made real progress, particularly at the renowned stadium Mount Pleasant.

Off the field here at the Bulls, the “Juniors Go Free” initiative continues to be very well supported with a great take up so far.

We would also urge those wishing to purchase season tickets to do so as soon as possible to ensure tickets are printed prior to our first home match of the season versus Sheffield Eagles on February 6.

A thank you to our very many commercial partners who continue to support the club and as we seek to move forward.

January is an important month for the Bulls. with a number of significant updates on current thinking by the local authority as to the site and its surroundings.

After Batley we welcome two Super League heavyweights to Odsal.

Firstly, Hull FC are here on Sunday, January 16 which is always a treat, before we then entertain our old foes Leeds Rhinos.

The Bulls and the Rhinos have recently agreed a development plan for the two cities to increase the amount of rugby league being played by boys and girls in the conurbation.

We all know there are areas of the two cities where rugby league is exceptionally strong, but others, particularly to the north, where our sport has slipped a little over the past decade.

Working together, we hope to be able to fill in some of these gaps going forward.

The partnership extends on to the field and three high-calibre Super League players, Muizz Mustapha, Corey Johnson and Jarrod O’Connor, will be joining us from Leeds on loan to supplement John Kear’s existing squad.

Tickets for the Leeds fixture on January 23 are selling very well and we hope the occasion will be befitting of our long-standing rivalry.

We hope you enjoy our first fixture of 2022 and thank you for your continued support.