It would be fair to say there is suddenly a little bit of momentum building at the Bradford Bulls.
After a disappointing 2022 season where the club finished ninth and 14 points off the Championship play-off places, the last few weeks has brought about renewed hope.
As plans were put forward by Bradford council for a new state-of-the-art stadium on the Odsal site, the latest IMG proposals also offered an extra incentive to one of the country’s biggest clubs.
And now it seems that bounce is crossing over to matters on the pitch with the Bulls this evening announcing a major acquisition in the shape of England Knights fullback Jack Walker.
After winning the Super League Grand Final at just 18, Walker has suffered with injuries over the last few seasons but has undoubted quality.
It was widely expected he would sign for a Super League side, with the club he spent time on loan at last season, Hull FC, heavily linked with a permanent deal.
However, in a move that is sure to raise a few eyebrows, Bradford have pulled off one of the biggest transfers in their recent history and head coach Mark Dunning was unsurpringly delighted.
Speaking to the Bulls website, Dunning hailed the addition of Walker while also confirming that the club are aiming to sign more players of a similiar stature in the coming weeks as they build towards Super League status.
“It is a good sign that the club can attract a player of Jack’s calibre,” he said. “I’ve had a number of meetings with Jack and he is excited by the project here, he has 100% bought into what we are trying to do.
“Jack is Super League quality there is no doubt about that, he has the desire to play Super League again and now his number one preference is to do that in a Bradford Bulls shirt so he ticks all the boxes in that regard.
“There are a number of plates spinning at the moment like Jack, hopefully more will fall into place soon. The supporters have been really patient and have been wanting a signing like this, this is the first part of hopefully a few more deals like this to come.”
Speaking on the move, Walker also highlighted that his attraction to sign came from a conversation with Dunning where he revealed some of the new faces that will be arriving at Odsal.
“I’m looking forward to working with Mark, he wants to stamp his own culture on this club and with the players he’s bringing in, it caught my eye and made me want to be a part of this club,” said Walker.