Sought after Bateman commits to Bradford

Bradford have fought off interest from Super League rivals to retain the services of back-rower John Bateman.

Bateman, 19, had one-year left on his contract and was subject to a bid from Warrington last season, and was also thought to be attracting the attention of other clubs, including Hull.

He has now committed his future to Odsal until the end of 2015.

The England Academy captain said: “It’s been a long time waiting with what’s been happening at the club and I’m really happy to get it sorted.  There’s a security here now and everyone knows what’s going on.

“People have been asking me where I’m going but from day one I’ve always said I want to stay at Bradford.  Hopefully I’ve given the fans a bit back of what they’ve done for me.”

Bateman made 17 appearances for the Bulls during the turbulent 2012 season, his first full season in the first team squad. He made his Super League debut in the 8-8 draw with Catalan in April 2011, and went on to make four appearances in his debut year.

Bulls owner Omar Khan said: “We have shown our commitment to the club by securing for Bradford Bulls the future of one of Rugby League’s finest young talents. John is key to what we want to achieve at the Bulls and we want him to be here for the rest of his career but we need the support of fans in this.”

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