Eamon O’Carroll played a key part in Catalans’ run to the Super League Grand Final earlier this year, and he has hinted the French club could repay their gratitude by helping him out in his new role as Bradford Bulls head coach.

Steve McNamara’s Perpignan-based side narrowly missed out on the League Leaders’ Shield to Wigan, then lost to the same opposition in the Old Trafford showpiece.

O’Carroll was a key cog in the Catalans machine, and giving his first sit-down interview as Bulls boss, the 36-year-old said: “I can’t speak highly enough of the place or of Steve. The people there are fantastic.

“I love the club, that’s no secret, and I hope I can come and bring some of that to Bradford.

“It’s an exciting time for me as a coach and for this club.

“I’m really proud to be here and to have been a part of the Catalans Dragons.

“That hasn’t stopped, I’ve still got a great relationship with Steve and the rest of the staff, and they’re keen for us to do well here at Bulls and will help us if they need to.”

That being said, O’Carroll has openly stated how happy he is with the current group at his disposal and does not want next week’s return to pre-season training to be something to dread.

Asked if the players could expect a punishing schedule at Tong, the former Irish international insisted: “There’s no fear. I want to get them connected and be excited to come into training.

“I’ve reached out to the majority of them now, and told them what we’re going to do.

“I do feel the buzz that’s already there and I think it’s really important too.

“I feel that from the group and from some of the lads I’ve spoken to within the squad, they feel that buzz as well.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tom Holmes and Ben Blackmore are two of the biggest personalities in the Bulls dressing room, which was in high spirits for much of last year.Tom Holmes and Ben Blackmore are two of the biggest personalities in the Bulls dressing room, which was in high spirits for much of last year. (Image: Tom Pearson.)

“We’ve got a duty now to make sure we play our part in that and to make sure that continues.”

That buzz will likely only increase with Bulls’ upcoming ‘staff night out’ later this week.

O’Carroll said: “We’re going to meet on Friday night and spend some time together, because it’s important for me that we connect as a group before we start training.

“We’ve got a few things planned on the Friday, so everyone can spend some time with each other.

“Then on the Monday when we come in, it’ll be about us reconnecting.

“We’ve got some good time in pre-season before Christmas and breaking up.

“We’ve got some good professionals in there, so the boys will be looking forward to starting training.

“Of course there’ll be elements of it that’ll be tough, but the biggest part for me is getting us connecting, and hopefully that will transfer on to the field when we play.”

Positivity in training and positivity on the pitch will only lead to positivity in the stands.

O’Carroll knows how important it is for Bulls to harness the power of their large following, home and away, saying: “The supporters are going to be huge for us and really important.

“We’ve got our part to play in that, to make sure that when they come and watch us on a Sunday afternoon, they can feel proud of what we’re producing.

“I look at the York play-off eliminator, I was in France watching it, and I could feel the atmosphere in the stadium.

“It certainly has an impact on the team, they’ve told me that themselves, and I want Odsal to be a place where every one of my players wants to play, and somewhere that the opposition fear coming to.

“The fans will play a huge part in making that the case.”