Bradford Bulls snap up Super League forward as the rebuild at Odsal begins

Bradford Bulls have announced the permanent signing of the highly regarded fan favourite Chester Butler on a two-year deal.

In securing his signature, the club beat off fierce competition from rival clubs, with Butler a target for many Championship clubs.

The 26-year-old arrived at Odsal Stadium on a season-long loan deal from Huddersfield Giants earlier this year and has since gone on to become a key member of Mark Dunning’s side, making 15 appearances and scoring four tries.

Butler, who represents Wales on the International stage, can feature in the back row or centre and has previously played for Halifax Panthers as well as the Giants.

And Chester has spoken of his determination to repay the fans for their support, insisting there is a lot more to come from him and Mark Dunning’s Bradford Bulls in years to come.

“I am buzzing – to have signed for two years gives me security and Bradford is a great club to sign for, hopefully over the next two years we can get ourselves back to where we want to be as a club,” said Butler, who is sponsored by The Butler Family.

“It is nice to have the two years for myself personally having been out for so long with injuries, this year I just wanted to get through and play as well as I can, I knew I wasn’t going to come back all guns blazing but I have progressed, built confidence and momentum and it gives me hope after a pre-season here I can make an impact next year.

“On a personal level I am happy to have got back playing rugby and now hopefully over the next few years with Mark at the helm we can make an impact – we have loads more to offer as a team and I want to be a big part of it.

“I fit in with the fans straight away, got speaking to a few after the first game and they were all lovely and very supportive – we have a great fanbase and hopefully we can get those wins to bring some people back and push on. We have four games left at the end of this season so hopefully we can get on a winning streak.”

Bradford boss Mark Dunning has spoken of his delight at the club’s ‘massive coup’ – whilst paying tribute to the Wales’ international’s personality as well as his performances.

“I am delighted, I spoke last week about some signings to be announced and Chester is the first – there are 3 or 4 done and in the pipeline so recruitment is going well, Chester is actually a Huddersfield Giants player on loan to us so to secure him for two years is a massive coup for the club,” said Dunning, who is sponsored by Crystal Clear Bi-Folds.

“The performances he’s dished up this year have been high quality, he is an experienced International player who brings versatility – he can play in the back row, middle and centre – he is a good bloke, he is good to have around the place which is a key part of our recruitment process.

“My first dealing with Chester is something I will never forget – he came into the building to be told Leigh on the Monday Night in February was too soon, we had a trial for the Reserves against Midlands and he walked in and said I am available let’s have a go. I looked and thought you’ve just come from Super League asking to play for our Reserves that is a mark of the man and is exactly the type of person we want.

“We are hugely privileged at this club to have Squadbooster– they go above and beyond to actually contribute positively to what we are trying to do, any help they put in is 100% appreciated by everyone down here at Tong and I want to personally thank everyone who has contributed.

“I have just had the nod that another has fallen off the shelf and into the basket, there is some real positive news to come across the next few days and weeks and I am sure it will excite the fans as much as it does me.”

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