Super League: Lee Gaskell and Dale Ferguson commit to Bradford Bulls following relegation
Last Updated: 21/07/14 4:56pm
Lee Gaskell and Dale Ferguson have become the first players to commit their futures to Bradford following relegation from Super League.
The Bulls' drop into the Championship was confirmed on Sunday with their 52-26 defeat at Huddersfield, leaving coach James Lowes the task of having to rebuild his side.
England Knights scrum-half Luke Gale is expected to be the first of many to leave by confirming a move to Castleford, but Lowes has been boosted by Gaskell and Ferguson signing new deals that will keep them at the club until the end of 2016.
"I wanted to stay with Bradford regardless and am really excited by Jimmy's long-term plans for the club," said stand-off Gaskell, 23, who began his Super League career with hometown club St Helens.
"It looks as though there could be a host of new faces coming in and it would be nice to see a few of the other boys stay put too.
"I just want to be able to go out there, give my all and perform in Bulls colours because I love it here."
Second row forward Ferguson, 26, who joined on a two-year deal at the start of the season, has made only four appearances for the club because of injury and is eager to prove himself.
"I have had an extremely frustrating season but the Bulls have really stood by me," he said.
"I owe a huge amount to everyone involved with the club and I am determined to pay back the faith shown in me.
"I am really looking forward to the future and am relishing the challenges ahead."
Lowes said: "Both Lee and Dale are of high quality and we believe it is vital to our future success to retain as many members of our current squad as possible.
"Lee is going to be a key figure for us in the middle of the park and, as we have seen this season, he can be very versatile.
"Dale's attitude is great - he is fantastic to have around the place. He is certainly a team player and I am excited about what he will bring to the party next year and beyond.
"This is a very strong club, with a bright future ahead, and, to those doubting that, I believe this announcement is a real statement of intent.
"We are in the process of building a squad for next season and this is just the start for us."