Bradford Bulls have appointed former player Paul Mennell as their new scholarship head coach.
A former Bradford Bulls player (2006-08), Mennell spent two years as assistant coach to Dewsbury Rams’ first team following a distinguished playing career that saw him feature for the likes of Huddersfield Giants, Halifax RLFC and Batley Bulldogs.
“I’m excited to be coming to Bradford Bulls at this point in their journey. The club is steeped in history and it’s clear to see that they are on the up again,” said Mennell.
“There are many talented youngsters coming through the ranks and I’m looking forward to working each and everyone of them to give them the opportunity to be the best players and individuals they can possibly be.
“Having worked under John Kear previously, I am aware of the philosophy and vision he sets out for the players and staff, and that is something I share.
“I hope the supporters of Bradford can not only get down to see the first team games, but also see the next generation at Scholarship and academy level for some entertaining rugby.”
Youth and Academy Director Jason Hirst has spoken of his delight at appointing Mennell.
“Despite a recent substantial cut, in central funding, the Bradford Bulls remain committed to investing in and further developing our Scholarship & Academy operation,” said Hirst.
“We are the only non-Super League club, in the heartlands of Rugby League, who run Scholarship & Academy teams, which further underlines this substantial & critical commitment.
“We have a long, proud & well documented history, of producing elite players, many of whom, have gone on to play and indeed, captain their country. Continuing to develop elite young talent, male & female, both on & off the field, is a key core value, of ours, as we seek to fund self-sufficient Scholarship & Academy sides, as part of our strategic plan, to restore our great club to its’ former glories in a systematic and sustainable manner.
“With his extensive Rugby League background, knowledge & experience, as well as his Professional background, as a Deputy Head teacher, Paul was the standout candidate, for our critical role, of Scholarship Head Coach.
“We are, therefore, delighted that he accepted our offer to join us and build upon the great work of his predecessor, Ryan Hunkin, who remains critical to ongoing youth development, in Bradford & the surrounding district, in his role as Bradford Bulls, Foundation Head Coach & Primary Schools Development Officer.
“I look forward to working closely, with Paul, whose values, work ethic and commitment to junior player & coaches’ development, align perfectly, with those of the Bradford Bulls. Also working closely with his Scholarship Assistant Coaches & our Academy Head Coach, Leigh Beattie, as well as assisting Mark Dunning, with our Reserves side, we are excited to see Paul further develop & become an integral part of our hardworking, dedicated & talented Scholarship & Academy team.”