Bradford Bulls boss on ‘Plan B’ for Odsal, one rule he would bring in and need for rugby league ‘overhaul’

ONCE the poster venue of rugby league, Odsal has endured its difficulties in recent years.

With the urgent need for development and upgrading, a recent plan submitted by Bradford Council to build a 25,000-capacity stadium at Odsal in conjunction with a Levelling Up bid was snubbed by the government.

It was a blow to Bradford in terms of an essential upgrade and head coach Mark Dunning has reiterated the need of a ‘Plan B’ in order to improve the area as a whole, citing the council-led rugby league projects in other parts of the north.

“I didn’t have that much involvement in it if I’m being honest, I know the council did,” Dunning told League Express.

“I always thought it was a bit of an extended dream but we’ve got a Plan B. It’s about us taking ownership of this Plan B and we are one of the only clubs in the country, if you look at the new stadiums being built by the council, we are one of only a few that haven’t had that.

“Odsal needs upgrading, that is no secret and hopefully somewhere along the line we can get something done.”

Dunning expressed the idea that it’s not just the rugby league club that would benefit from a redevelopment but the entire community of Bradford itself.

“I’m a Bradford lad, the ground needs to be opened to the community and it needs to be used more than it is,” Dunning continued.

“We’ve got stock cars going round but there needs to be stuff going on in the stadium and you need the facilities to do that.

“I’m a big believer that a rejuvenated Odsal will be massive for the south of Bradford and for the city of Bradford itself.”

In terms of the wider game, with IMG becoming stakeholders in rugby league, Dunning has called for an overhaul of the sport – and there is one rule that he would like to see introduced, even if it is perhaps a pipedream.

“If we’re doing what we need to on the football field then we can let IMG do what they need to do.

“There needed to be an overhaul of the game and hopefully IMG can do that. If we can tick boxes along the way then brilliant. I need to make sure we are in the right position on the field.

“The captain’s challenge is something that I like but realistically I don’t think we could have the cameras at the grounds to do it.

“That’s the one I’d bring in but I think it’s a far-fetched idea.”