Bulls ready for new campaign

Bradford boss Steve McNamara is looking forward to the start of the season on Friday, when his Bulls take on Huddersfield.

The Bulls coach has overseen a relatively large player turnover in the close season, watching names such as Terry Newton, Paul Deacon and Glenn Morrison leaving the club, to be replaced by the likes of Matt Orford, Brett Kearney and Heath L’Estrange.

And after a disappointing 2009, McNamara has been focused on getting the best out of his players ahead of the new campaign.

He said: “We have a different group of players; different staff and we have spent some time at some different venues and have had a slightly different focus on how we condition the players.  We certainly looked at the strengths of our squad and tried to adjust some things to make sure we use that to our advantage.

“We have had some very tough pre season games, we have had a tough pre season; the players have worked extremely hard and we have tried to fix up a few areas where we felt we were a bit deficient.  The trial games have been good for us.  We missed out on them last year and this year we have had some very tight close encounters in all the games we have played and I think that will stand us in good stead.”

One of those friendly games came against Hull KR, and the Bulls were 18-16 victors, with new signing Orford pulling the strings from half back.

McNamara added: “The focus was always going to be on Matt when he played and he certainly didn’t let anyone down. There were a few areas of rustiness in him, which I am sure he will be looking to iron out this week but he certainly showed some of the reasons why we were keen to get Matt Orford to this organisation.”

A consequence of the friendly with Hull KR was the injury to Craig Kopczak, and although it is not as bad as first feared, the forward will miss the Super League opener with Huddersfield.

Also missing are Danny Sculthorpe and Michael Platt, while Stuart Reardon is doubtful with a dead leg.

New captain Andy Lynch is set to make his 300th career appearance in the game at the Galpharm Stadium, which is being televised live on Sky Sports on Friday at 8pm.

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