Once upon a time Bradford Bulls were competing with Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and St Helens for silverware.
The Bulls once competed in five consecutive Grand Finals from 2001-05. The Bulls won three of those beating Wigan and Leeds.
The Bulls were even crowned World Champions in 2006 defeating Wests Tigers. However, the Bulls would soon face financial issues and would slowly begin to struggle resulting in relegation in 2014.
They have been battling to return ever since losing the Million Pound Game in 2015 against Wakefield Trinity.
As the Bulls chase a return to Super League they let go of Mark Dunning and they have brought in a man who is at a Super League club chasing silverware right now.
They confirmed the appointment of Eamon O’Carroll as the club’s new head coach on a three year deal from the 2024 season.
O’Carroll is currently in his second spell at Super League leaders Catalans Dragons, acting as Assistant Coach to Bradford legend Steve McNamara as well as heading up the Reserves side in the south of France.
The 36-year-old played for Wigan Warriors, Hull FC and Widnes Vikings in a 13-year playing career before a spell at Newcastle Thunder where he oversaw promotion back to the Betfred Championship.
The new Bulls boss said:
“It is a great feeling, I am really looking forward to it, it is a huge honour everyone knows the proud history of the club so to be a part of that moving forward is a really proud moment for me and my family,” said O’Carroll.
“There were a number of things that appealed about the job, I have always had aspirations to be a head coach… I wasn’t particularly looking but when it came up it turned my head, the club has big aspirations and I am really looking forward to getting started.
“[What fans can expect] A team that will compete, it is really important we do the jersey justice and we represent Bradford in the way it needs to be and I will certainly be driving that from day one, not just on a Sunday afternoon but also at training. I guarantee we will work hard and represent our club in the way it needs to be represented.
“There is some real quality in the squad, the group looks really good and they are responding to what Lee and Brian are doing and I am really excited about coming in working with the players, helping them with some areas and them helping me.
“I have been extremely lucky to work with Steve McNamara and the staff here at the Dragons and hopefully some of those good traits I’ve learned will come out in what I bring to Bradford as a head coach.”
Speaking of the Dragons, their star man Sam Tomkins gave his glowing praise for O’Carroll:
“Great signing! (But id prefer him to stay where he is.”
He was then told by a Bradford fan to go around again in 2024 with the Bulls and Tomkins rejected the notion:
“Eamon won’t want a crippled 34 year old.”
Crippled Sam Tomkins is still one of the best players in sl
— Nath (@Nath_smith21) July 19, 2023