Fran Cummins says Bradford's camaraderie could make them play-off contenders
Last Updated: February 7, 2013 10:58am
A new era for Bulls
Fran Cummins told Boots 'n' All that Bradford may be able to go one better than last year and clinch a Super League play-off spot.
The Bulls battled through administration and potential liquidation during the 2012 campaign to eventually finish ninth in the table, an agonising three points behind Yorkshire rivals Wakefield.
But after beating the Wildcats 40-6 at Odsal in their opening encounter of the season and becoming more financially secure due to a takeover by local businessman Omar Khan, Bradford coach Cummins feels there could be successful times ahead.
"We had some tough times last year but grew out of that and there is definitely a great vibe around the club," said Cummins, who served as assistant to previous Bulls chief Mick Potter.
"We could have quite easily ended up as a lost cause but the real supporters stayed with us through thick and thin."
"I have the spine of last year and some good young players; they need to step up but if they do then who knows where we can go and if we can get in the play-offs again."
On last season's toils, Cummins added: "2012 was special and one of the greatest experiences of my career because that the players and fans came together and helped us get as far as we did.
"We could have quite easily ended up as a lost cause but the real supporters - not fanaticals but supporters - stayed with us through thick and thin and supported the guys from their area."
Bradford visit the KC Stadium on Friday to face a Hull FC side who have strengthened during the offseason - snapping up the likes Wests Tigers star Gareth Ellis and second row Ben Galea from neighbours Hull KR - and are expected to figure in the upper echelons of the division this term.
However, the Black and Whites were beaten 36-6 by reigning Super League champions Leeds last weekend and Cummins thinks his Bulls outfit can condemn Hull to successive defeats.
"Most of my players have been together a while, but Hull have had quite a turnaround of players and it may take them time to bed in - and I hope they continue to bed in this weekend!" he said.
"They have got a lot of talent but we have got to look at how we can beat the opposition and not worry too much about individuals, and if we all pull together, like we did last year, we can compensate for some of the star players they've got."
Cummins is now one of six English coaches in Super League and Boots 'n' All pundit Barrie McDermott, who played with the new Bradford chief during his time as a prop at Leeds, thinks the 36-year-old will flourish in the top job at Odsal.
"I played rugby league with Cummins for 12 years and saw a dedicated professional who took his art very seriously, while he has also got personality and an understanding and interpretation of the game," said McDermott.
"There will be ups and downs but I'm sure he has planned accordingly for that - and he has got some good players."