After the announcement of Geoff Toovey opting to not return to coach Bradford Bulls in 2018 after their relegation to the Kingstone Press League One, many names have been linked with the position.
Initially, it seemed likely that former Huddersfield Giants and Featherstone Rovers coach Jon Sharp was set to be named as the new man at the helm but that quickly died a death and Bulls’ fans became restless regarding the apparent lack of urgency from those in charge to name a new head coach with very little seemingly going on.
Today, however, has seen the vastly experienced John Kear named as their new boss who Bradford fans will hope has the nous and ability to get the fallen West Yorkshire giants out of the third tier at the first time of asking. The man who led Wales in the recent RLWC has left his role as head of rugby at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats – whom, alongside Chris Chester, he guided to a superb fifth place finish last time out – to take over at Odsal. Indeed, Kear is aiming – unsurprisingly – for an immediate return to the second tier, stating “hopefully this is a squad that will be good enough to take us into the Championship” while also outlining his beliefs that, despite the financial and other off field troubles the club have experienced, the Bulls setup deserves to be higher up the pyramid, saying that “we want to regain our place where we feel the infrastructure of the club belongs.”
Initial work for the new boss entails evaluating his squad and bringing in recruits which, with trial matches in the pipeline, must be sorted with a manner of urgency in order to prepare for the Bulls’ first match in the third tier away to potential promotion contenders York City Knights in February.
Will Kear’s experience tell at that level? Only time will tell.